I don't know about you, but when it's 100F outside I have absolutely no desire to crank up the oven, and it's been right around that for the last few days. I much prefer to shut myself up in my little home, crank up the AC and catch up on Studio 60 on Netflix. Yes, I do realize that "catch up" may not be the right term when referring to the only season of a show that was on the air 5 years ago, but hey, I'm slow when it comes to pop culture. Dinner has consisted of popsicles for the last few days, and while we're on this subject, does anyone know if it's possible to eat a popsicle without getting it all over yourself? No matter how careful I try to be, something always drips or falls. My parents knew what they were doing when we were little. We were only allowed things like popsicles and watermelon if we were in our undies, that way they could just toss us in the tub or hose us down at the end.
The other side effect of this heat is my complete inability to retain even the shortest thread of thought. I'll have lists and lists building in my head of things I need to do and then...wait, where was I going with this? See what I'm talking about? I'm useless when it's this hot. Oh yeah, I've been meaning to tell you about a class I took this spring. It has nothing to do with food, but I found a way to connect the dots. I took an introductory letterpress class at Evanston Print and Paper, an adorable little shop that offers a variety of different paper craft type classes. It was really cool learning about the different machinery and techniques, and one of the many things I designed were recipe cards, so that's what I'm giving away:
What do you think? Cute, right? Yes, yes, I'm fishing for compliments here. I'm slightly considering selling these on Etsy, but first I thought I'd share them with someone, so leave a comment below making sure to leave some kind of contact information before Wednesday June 15th midnight and if you win, I'll send you 10 of these hot off the press recipe cards. Good luck!
Anyways, onto today's recipe! I was looking for a quick and portable breakfast when I stumbled onto these energy bars. They're like the granola bars I see people eating on the train, but better. They're chock full of nuts and dates and cocoa, taste fantastic, and don't require me to crank up the oven or the stove to make. I did tweak the recipe a teeny tiny bit, but otherwise left it alone and I've been eating these for breakfast almost every day this week with an ice cold glass of milk. Yum!.
Adapted slightly from Sea salt with Food; mine aren't entirely raw
2 Cups (300g) moist Medjool dates, pitted and chopped*
2 Cups (280g) raw cashews
1/2 Cup (60g) roasted almonds
3/4 Cup (75g) Cocoa Powder
A Pinch Of Sea Salt
1/2 Cup (40g) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 to 3 Tbsp apple juice
* Don't forget to pit the dates. I did and almost broke my food processor then spent a few messy minutes picking the seeds back out, which was not fun. So do as the instructions say and don't be dumb like me.
Line an 8"x8" square pan with aluminum foil or Seran wrap, or parchment. Basically anything that will make it easier to pull the mess out of the pan later.
Combine chopped dates, cashews, almonds, cocoa powder, cinnamon and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse and process all the ingredients together until the texture is coarse. Then add the shredded coconut, a quick pulse, and add the vanilla extract, a little juice at a time until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency. Scrape the dough mixture into the lined pan, press evenly with a rubber spatula, your fingers or the bottom of a glass (I used all three) and chill for about an hour before cutting. Cut into squares, wrap each one individually and keep on a tray by the door so that you can grab one on your way out.