Dark Chocolate Orange & Almond Sticky Date Bars.
Ingredients: Natural European almonds (unpasteurized) – 2 cups, soaked pitted dates – 2 cups, dark chocolate chips – 1/2 cup (fair trade/organic), almond butter – 1/4 cup, alcohol-free vanilla extract – 1 tsp, sea salt small pinch.
Lightly toast the almonds in a dry skillet to enhance the nutty flavour. Set aside to cool.
To make the sticky date filling, mix the almond butter with 2/3rd of the soaked dates, and vanilla into a paste. Set aside.
For the base layer, pulse the almonds into a crumble texture. Then add the rest of the date mixture and big pinch of salt. Pulse to combine.
Press the base mixture into a plastic lined rectangular cake pan.
Then smooth over the sticky date/almond butter mix on top.
Add some toasted almonds to the date layer. NOTE: Roughly chop the almonds instead of using them whole as seen above because they were difficult to cut through at the end. We learn by trying!
Melt the dark chocolate chips in a double boiler/bain-marie and spoon it over the top.
Using a microplane, zest some fresh orange over the chocolate layer. Let the bars cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Slice the bar into about 2-inch pieces. This is a rich dessert, so a bar this size (about 60 gr) should provide 4 servings.
This ‘luxurious’ tasting dessert is composed of only real/nourishing ingredients – offering fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and deliciousness. Making our own ‘chocolate bars’, using a few whole (unprocessed) ingredients – is a healthier choice than opting for store-bought items. Also, the creative act of preparing these bites with our own hands, makes them all the sweeter!
- Natural almonds, 2 cups – dry toasted
- Pitted dates, 2 cups – soaked in water to rehydrate
- Dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup
- Almond butter, 1/4 cup
- Orange zest from 1 orange
- Alcohol-free vanilla extract – 2 tsp
- Sea salt, small pinch
1. In a food processor, mix the almond butter with 1-cup of the dates, and vanilla until it forms a paste. Set aside.
2. Pulse the 1.5 cups of the almonds, and salt – into a chunky crumb. Add the rest of the dates (1-cup) and pulse until it forms a ‘dough’.
3. Press the ‘dough’ into a plastic lined square pan. Then smooth the date/almond butter paste layer. Top with the last 1/2 cup of almonds, to create an additional texture. Set in the freezer to harden.
4. In a double boiler/bain-marie, melt the chocolate chips. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the chocolate bar base.
5. Zest a little orange on top of the melted chocolate, and set in the freezer for 1-hour to set before slicing into small bites!
- Almonds/almond butter are a source of protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and fiber.
- Dates are a nutritious whole food/unrefined sweetener, that offer iron, calcium, and fiber. This fiber helps the body regulate sugars – preventing a sugar spike.
- Dark chocolate is also source of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, Vitamins K, B vitamins, and fiber. It is also high in calories and fat – so not a ‘health food’, but still wonderful to enjoy on occasion!