Tuesday, May 3, 2011

(Mostly) Raw Nut Butter Cacao Bars ~ A Recipe

Weather 'round these parts has suddenly jumped.  Tomorrow, it's supposed to get up to 90 degrees.  Using the oven while the air conditioner (if we had one) blasts just doesn't work for my pocketbook.  Six years ago, I challenged myself to never use the oven in the summer.  It made sense.  It felt seasonal.  I love seasonal.  I have kept this challenge ever since.  So, with fond sadness, I prepare to bid my dear oven adieu until those crisp, autumn mornings once again greet us and my beloved friend can fill the home with scents of comforting, baked indulgences.  Yep, I'm a cold-weather person.

We've been devouring these unbaked treats weekly over here.  My kids insisted the recipe be posted.  I love them.  I made this recipe 100% raw once, but the children couldn't stand raw peanut butter, so back to roasted peanut butter we went, though all the other ingredients are raw (hence the "mostly" raw).

Does anyone else out there seem to be losing an hour or two every day?  Where is the time going?  I don't have no time to make no stinking balls out of this stuff.  I mean, you can if you want.  Even better, elicit your children to make cute little balls or bars, or even cut out little disks (like the picture above).  Here's what we usually do.  We smush the batter into an 8x10-inch pan, and put a lid on it.  When we want some, we get a spoon.  No double-dipping.  Portion control?  More like laziness.  It must last!  When we're loading up to go to town, I grab the pan and some spoons and off we go, prepared with snacks.  Weird, I know.  Alright, on with the recipe already.

(Mostly) Raw Nut Butter Cacao Bars
Makes about 16 servings

1 cup nut butter (we love it with peanut butter)
1 cup dried fruit (I use a combo of raisins, cranberries, & goji berries)
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 Tablespoons grade b maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
10 dates, pitted
1 cup crispy buckwheat** (see directions below.)
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

  1. Place nut butter, dried fruit, nibs, oil, syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor.  Begin processing, and drop 1 date in at a time until well blended.  Dump batter in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Now it's your turn to make the decision: make them into balls, slightly chill then cut into bars, or just push it into a 8x10 pan like we do and cut chunks when you want some or just use a spoon.
** To make crispy buckwheat, soak buckwheat groats in lots of water (they expand to 3x their size) overnight.  Rinse really well and dehydrate for about 4 hours or until dry.


    1. mmm.... yum. I'm going to have to get some cocao nibs and try these. They are a lot like some bars I already make, but I am always looking for new variations! Thanks!!

    2. I just made this for an after-school snack...just happened to have all the ingredients, even a cup of presoaked/dried buckwheat...felt so cool!! :)

    3. We eat lots of raw treats around here.....and yes, those darn little balls take forever! Like your spooning method! I find your no oven challenge interesting...I'll have to check in and see what you"ll do instead....with 5 kiddos I always need new ideas :) Here from Real Food Wednesday.....


    4. PERFECT for baseball - and I totally get the grabbing spoons and the pan of bars - I pack most of our nightly picnics in glass jars/salad bowls. I'm sure people think I'm crazy, I'm past caring :)

    5. Do you need a dehydrator to make the crispy buckwheat? These sound amazing!

    6. Hi Jana!
      Unless your oven can get as low as 105 degrees, you'll need a dehydrator.

    7. These cookies look and sound delicious, but mostly I love the idea of an oven free summer. It's something to think very seriously about. Luckily I live in the southern hemisphere though, so I still have 6 months to ponder it.

    8. Thanks for this!! It made me feel better about the raw cookies I just dumped in tupperware and called good.

    9. ThispreciouslifedotcomJuly 7, 2011 at 11:48 PM

      I have been researching carob vs cocoa vs cacao...raw, roasted, organic, most tasty, most healthy, most affordable, blah blah blah.

      Any chance there will be a chocolate choices post in the near future? ;)

    10. These look so good and perfect for these warm days that we have up here in New England. This is one of the first times in my life that I'm living without an air conditioner. I love the idea of making things that do not require an oven. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. Have a great weekend!

    11. Thanks so much for the yummy recipe. Just got some raw cacao nibs and am trying to make them more palatable for the kids. They love these. Had all the ingredients on hand except buckwheat-substituted puffed Kamut and it worked great. BTW-I omitted syrup-plenty sweet with the fruit, and added vanilla instead of cinnamon. Is yummy with peanut butter but will try next time with almond butter. Thanks again! Great blog!


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