Dark Chocolate Orange & Almond Sticky Date Bars.

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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.

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Lightly toast the almonds in a dry skillet to enhance the nutty flavour. Set aside to cool.

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To make the sticky date filling, mix the almond butter with 2/3rd of the soaked dates, and vanilla into a paste. Set aside.

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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.

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Press the base mixture into a plastic lined rectangular cake pan.

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Then smooth over the sticky date/almond butter mix on top.

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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!

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Melt the dark chocolate chips in a double boiler/bain-marie and spoon it over the top.

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Using a microplane, zest some fresh orange over the chocolate layer. Let the bars cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.

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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.

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ENJOY!

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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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

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!

Nutrition Tips:

  • 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!

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