My Plant-Based Week
My Plant-Based Week

Ultimate Chocolate Cherry Energy Bars

With two young girls in the house, I have to have a LOT of snacks available at all times. I used to go to the grocery store and stock up on tons of prepackaged "healthy" snacks that I just knew would last through the month. Not only did the stuff not last a month--usually it never lasted for much over a week since my kids seem to think they must be chewing and swallowing every waking moment--but the snacks turned out to be not so healthy.

 

So, I started making more snacks and buying less of them. I still indulge on a few processd items for them, but more and more of our snacks are either fresh fruits or veggies, raw nuts or homemade treats. I make a lot of cookies and bars and I always have a hard time deciding what to call the bars. I get tired of saying "snack bars" or "granola bars." It just sounds so...boring. And that's how these yummy bars got named Ultimate Chocolate Cherry Energy Bars.

 

They are full of raw nuts and seeds, including black chia seeds, have a good helping of rolled oats and brown rice crisp cereal and boast the irresistable combination of dark chocolate and dried tart cherries. We've got whole grains, here, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin C...just a lot of really good stuff! Did you know that dried cherries contain anti-aging properties? In fact, they are an antioxidant powerhouse! They are thought to fight cancer, heart disease and arthritis pain, boost brain power and help you sleep! //Source//

 

They make a great pre- or post-workout snack or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. They are kid-friendly, especially with the chocolate, and pack nicely into a lunch box as long as there is an ice pack. Of course if your child goes to a nut-free school, you might have to save these for an after-school snack!

 

I'll admit they certainly look like a granola bar (even if my food photography does stink but, hey, I'm learning!) but don't they sound sooo much better when you hear "Ultimate Chocoalate Cherry Energy Bars??"  Yeah, I get excited over even the names of food...but seriously, if you were looking at items on a menu and saw two choices, "granola bar" and "ultimate chocolate cherry energy bar", which one would you want to read more about? Which one would really catch your eye??  Uh huh, thought so...face it--you all are just as weird as I am!!

 

 

 

 

Ultimate Chocolate Cherry Energy Bars Prep/Freeze Time: 25 minutes   Yield:12-18 bars

 

1 cup rolled oats (gluten free if needed)

1 cup brown rice crisp cereal

1 ½ cups raw mixed nuts, roughly chopped (I used almonds, walnuts and pecans)

½ cup mixed raw seeds (I used chia, sunflower and pumpkin)

½ cup dried tart cherries

1/3 cup brown rice syrup

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbs. almond butter

2 Tbs. coconut oil

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt

½ cup vegan chocolate chunks ( I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks)

 

  1. Line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper .In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown rice crisp cereal, nuts, seeds and cherries.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the syrups, coconut oil and almond butter to a slow bowl. Reduce heat and allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix well.
  3. Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before folding in the chocolate chunks to help prevent too much melting.
  4. Press mixture into prepared pan VERY firmly. It needs to be packed tightly or they bars wont hold together. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from freezer and lift the parchment paper from the pan. Peel from bars and cut bars into 12-18 servings, depending on how large you want them.
  6. Store in the freezer in an airtight container for best texture for up to 1 month.

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Comments

  • Belinda (Saturday, September 09 17 08:12 pm EDT)

    These sound SO yummy! I can't wait to try them! I've only used chia seeds for puddings so I've always soaked them for at least four hours first. If I soaked them here, would they be too wet to use?

  • Milissa (Sunday, September 10 17 03:11 pm EDT)

    Hi, Belinda! First, thanks for checking out my websiter:)

    Second, I do think soaking the chia seeds would make them too wet and gel-like for this recipe. Using them in the raw form just adds an extra layer of crunch that I like. You could also choose to elimate them and use more of the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in their place. Sesame seeds would probably be really good, too. I use chia seeds for puddings, too, in smoothies, whatever. I love that I can get some extra Omega fatty acids into just about anything by adding a tablespoon of chia seeds!

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Hi! I'm Milissa and my passion is affordable plant-based eating. Here is where I share my family's favorite recipes and show you how you can eat healthfully on any budget!

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