Tropical Raw Energy Bars With Pumpkin Seeds

I am a chronic meal skipper, so at the start of every new year, my promises to myself are always about food.  I try to challenge myself to prepare ahead of time, and then have healthy grab and go items. Eating homegrown is so satisfying, and it can be an important way to retrain yourself into new ways of eating things from your garden.  But even knowing that, prepping takes time. So I have created strategies to have healthy options at the ready.

One of my success stories is a no bake bar that is comprised of raw foods. This recipe uses two farm ingredients, banana and pumpkin seeds.  I am drying macadamia nuts right now, and in the future, those would make a lovely addition.

I use a mix of ingredients to combine into a snack bar full of energy providing nutrients.  In general terms, the additions are of two main categories:  ingredients that will make things stick, and ingredients that need to be stuck together. Prep time under 10 minutes plus refrigeration.

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sticky ingredients” can be:

coconut milk, almond milk, nut or seed butters, ripe banana

things to stick ingredients” can be:

Oat bran, ground flax seed (these two or similar ones will create the body of the bar) dairy free or regular chocolate chips, seeds like chia, hemp, sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes…

I then use carob or cocoa powder to flavor the lot.

Here is roughly my process:

Every time is different, but today, I put some pumpkin seeds through the grinder (or if using the food processor, I put them in whole), add in some sunflower kernels, chia/flax/hemp seeds, some coconut flakes (the big ones) some nuts, dairy free or regular chocolate chips, coconut milk, granola, almond milk, carob powder or cocoa powder.  Added flax seed bran, and oat  bran, and added bran until it was a good consistency to press into a pan.

I just put in what I have.  I add only enough of the milks to smoosh it all together.  I think the addition of  a glob of almond butter and ripe smooshed banana makes the bars rich and satisfying.  I then just press it into a square pan, and top with more coconut,  pressing the coconut into the top of the bars.

I have always mixed this in a large bowl, but today I made it in a food processor since I had it out and ready to go.  I find that it is easy to use the back of a large spoon to press it all into the pan before topping with more coconut.

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I then I cover the pan, and pop it into the fridge, and I will cut them into squares after a couple hours. I keep them in the fridge, and then put a couple in a travel container to carry with me. I keep key ingredients on hand so this takes just a few minutes. It could be served as a healthy desert too!

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I should be making these every week….now there is a New Year’s resolution I can stick with!

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