For an all-natural energy boost on the go, these raw, homemade bars from A Couple Cooks are topping our list. Chock full of protein (from nuts) and antioxidants (from the dried fruit), they’re as easy to whip up as they are delicious — no wrapper required.
Cherry Hazelnut Energy Bars
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 20 Medjool dates (2 cups)
- 1 cup + ¼ cup dried cherries (divided)
- Pinch kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ cup oats
Add all ingredients, save for the ¼ cup dried cherries, to the the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the food processor and blend until the mixture sticks together without falling apart, about 2 minutes. (Tip: The length of processing plays a big role in the achieving the right texture. Make sure to blend until the mixture is not too crumbly, but stop before it becomes gummy and gooey.)
Add the remaining ¼ cup dried cherries and pulse several times to combine, incorporating the larger cherry chunks into the mix.
Turn out the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and press it into a flat layer of the desired thickness, then roll a rolling pin over the top to smooth it to a uniform thickness. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 1 hour to harden. Then, slice into bars of the desired size, and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.