Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Crunchy Peanut & Chocolate Energy Bars

healthy & decadent energy bars

The rest of world seems to have gone on various detox diets and juice cleanses, while I've been working my way through a pan of chocolate cake. I literally mean a pan of cake. In fact, I mean two. Two pans of cake. Cookie sheet pans. Filled with cake. Covered in chocolate glaze. Because I either hate or love myself a lot.

Not to say I haven't, like so many others, said to myself: this year I will eat better. This year I will not slice off pieces of frozen cookie dough and feed them to myself. This year I will not each tortilla chips for dinner. This year I will not substitute samosas for every meal. And the list goes on.

We all have our lists of things we can do better, and I often berate myself for so often failing to follow through with resolutions. I spend so much time looking back at all the things I've done wrong that when I look ahead I don't see possibilities so much as the failure I'm already predicting. And ain't that just depressing.

So I made a pan of chocolate cake, and I ate it (with help, though, thank god), New Year's resolutions be damned.

However, in the spirit of being good to myself, I also made these energy bars. I received a coupon for Natural Delights Medjool Dates (which are decadent bites of amazing, thank you nature), and so naturally I went straight to my food processor with them to create these chocolatey, peanut buttery treats that make me think I'm eating delicious junk food even that I know they're made with nothing but good things. Thank you, medjool dates.

Because while chocolate cake is delicious, it's simply inadvisable and bordering on insane for me to continue making pans of cake. But with these treats, I can have my all-natural energy bars that taste like candy and eat them too.

energy bar beginnings

Crunchy Peanut & Chocolate Energy Bars
These bars are quick & easy to make, and even though they're made without sugar they still taste rich and decadent. Feel free to leave off the chocolate topping for a snacking bar that's not so rich.

1 1/2 cups roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates, packed

Chocolate Topping:
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil

peanuts & coconut peanuts & coconut, crushed
medjool dates peanuts & dates, crushed
roll flat chocolate because...chocolate

1. Place peanuts, coconut, and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

2. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to clump and holds together when you pinch a bit together between your fingers.

3. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper, then dump the mixture into the pan. Press into the pan with your hands, and flatten it with a small rolling pin or a glass. Place in the freezer or refrigerator to set.

4. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a pan over very low heat until smooth. Pour over the set base and smooth with a spatula. Place back in the freezer or fridge until the chocolate is set. Once set, remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and slice into squares. Store energy bars in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. In the freezer, they'll last up to 2 months.

medjool dates and other good things healthy pb & chocolate squares


  1. I was just browsing pictures of chocolate pound cake...but something like this would probably be a much better idea lol!

    1. Very probably, but then, when is chocolate cake not a good idea? ;)

  2. These sounds great, and I love it that they're sweetened with dates! I'm trying to get away from added sugar and use naturally sweet whole foods as much as possible.