Raw Cocoa, Date and Almond Energy Bars!

So, in light of the whole 'new year new me' stuff that's flying around for a few more weeks until it reaches it's February demise, I decided to embark on a baking spree yesterday. A baking spree of nutritional, guilt-free, goodness. And, I have to say I have been very, very pleasantly surprised with how wonderfully edible 'green' cooking is. Seriously, I had my suspicions that it would resemble eating cardboard but these little fella's are genuinely divine and I would recommend them to anybody. Being a serious sufferer of the dreaded sweet tooth (to the point where I would rather eat a family sized bar of dairy milk than a chicken curry), I was in desperate need of something to satisfy my feminine cravings without the added guilt. While I can't say that these beat eating an entire packet of minstrels in the happiness-spectrum, I CAN say that they are really impressively tasty for their worryingly low sugar content.

What makes them even better is that they take a grand total of about 2 minutes to prepare (you chuck everything into a blender et voila - work done) and they don't even need cooking, just cooling in the fridge. Little slices of pure chocolate heaven maybe not, but definitely knocking on the golden gates with no baggage at all.

Katie Leask photography cacao energy bars

2 cups of pitted dates
2 cups of cashew nuts 
½ cup of chopped almonds
¾ cup of cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp of vanilla extract
Some cold water
And you'll need a food processor and a shallow baking tray lined with grease proof paper!

So basically, pop the nuts, almonds, salt and cocoa powder into the blender until mixed together into slightly coarse mixture. Add the vanilla extract and slowly add tiny drops of water while blending until it reaches a dry but doughy consistency. You don't want it too runny or it won't set in the fridge! Flatten it out evenly onto the baking tray and leave in the fridge for about an hour. Then chop it up into whatever size pieces you like and enjoy!

Seriously worth a go for anyone with an insatiable chocolate appetite whose attempting to eat that little bit better and cleaner. I'm a convert.

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