|For the energy bars|
|2 ⅛ oz|
|2 ⅛ oz|
|4 ⅓ oz|
|3 ¼ oz|
|1 tbsp, whole||(0.36 oz)|
|½ tsp||(0.03 oz)|
|1 tsp||(0.07 oz)|
|¼ tsp||(0.02 oz)|
|2 tbsp||(1 oz)|
For the energy bars
Combine the cranberries, cherries, dates, cashews, and flaxseeds. Finely grind half of the mixture in the blender, and chop the other half by hand.
If they are available, it is best to purchase unsweetened cranberries.
Strictly speaking, these energy bars are not raw because they include the following ingredients: cashews, vanilla, and puffed amaranth (see “Notes about recipe.”). However, since the recipe only contains small quantities of these ingredients, we have decided to categorize it as “Raw.”
Combine both batches in a mixing bowl and then add the ginger, grated lemon, vanilla, rice syrup, and amaranth. Mix well.
For a recipe that makes 5 servings, the author lists ½ organic lemon, which is equal to about 1 teaspoon. Make sure that you buy organic lemons so that you don’t have to worry about using the peel.
If you grate a whole lemon instead of first cutting it in half, you can still store the peeled lemon for a few days before using.
Finishing the energy bars
Line a baking dish (15 x 15 cm) with parchment paper and then press the energy bar mixture out evenly.
If you don’t have a suitable baking pan, you can also use a small metal tin or half of a casserole pan. Using parchment paper makes it easier to remove the energy bars from the pan.
Let rest 3–4 hours and then carefully remove from the baking dish and cut into 10 energy bars of the same size.
The number of bars this recipe makes depends on the serving size you choose and your preferred size.
The bars can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
These delicious energy bars are packed with berries and nuts and include puffed amaranth and ginger. They are quick and easy to prepare.
Dried fruit is often treated with sulfur dioxide: Treating dried fruit with sulfur dioxide has two distinct advantages for large-scale industrial producers. First, the sulfur dioxide layer helps to prevent spoiling as it inhibits the metabolism of many microorganisms and in this way increases the shelf life of the product. And second, it allows the fruit to maintain its original color. The latter occurs thanks to the fact that sulfur dioxide inhibits enzymes that promote oxidation. This makes the fruit look more attractive for consumers, but in general we advise against purchasing and consuming dried fruit that has been treated. The preservation process destroys several vitamins, such as folic acid, and sulfur dioxide can be harmful for people with asthma or allergies.
Ground vanilla is not vanilla sugar: Although these two terms are sometimes used incorrectly as synonyms, they are two very different products. Ground vanilla, also called vanilla powder, is obtained by grinding vanilla beans. Vanilla sugar, however, is a mixture of vanilla and natural vanilla flavor or vanilla extract.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed has a nutty flavor and contains 40 % fat. Since this consists of about 50 % polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseed has the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids of all known vegetable oils.
Amaranth: You can buy puffed amaranth or make it yourself and eat it in muesli or granola or use it as a baking ingredient. Puffed amaranth is about the size of a mustard seed. From a nutritional point of view, amaranth is very valuable as it contains high amounts of essential amino acids, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, and fiber. As it is one of the gluten-free pseudograins (Amaranthaceae), amaranth is a good choice of whole grain in case of gluten intolerance.
The following products are usually not raw:
- Cashews: There is hardly another food that contains a higher proportion of the essential amino acid tryptophan than cashews. Tryptophan is an essential nutrient in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Cashews are also a good source of minerals such as magnesium and iron. However, cashews cannot be eaten raw because they contain the toxic oil cardol. When sold commercially, they have either been steamed or roasted and are therefore not truly raw. If “Raw cashews” is on the label, this usually just means that the toxic cardol they contain has been deactivated by steaming instead of roasting. It is only when the process is explained in detail and controlled that we can be sure the cashews are raw.
- Vanilla bean pods: Since vanilla bean pods are blanched at a high temperature after harvest in order to stop the ripening process, commercially available pods are not raw. Furthermore, vanilla bean pods sold in stores are usually “fermented” vanilla since the precursors to vanillin are converted into the aromatic vanillin through the drying and fermentation processes.
- Puffed amaranth and rice syrup are not raw since heat is essential for the production process.
Vanilla: Instead of ground vanilla, you can also use the seeds of the vanilla bean pod.
Alternatives to rice syrup: You can replace the rice syrup with another sweetener such as agave syrup. Or if you would like to leave the added sweetener out completely, you can simply add more dates.
For a pure raw food version: Replace the cashews with macadamia nuts, and omit the vanilla and puffed amaranth. The latter can be replaced with chia seeds. Instead of rice syrup, use a natural raw sweetener or leave it out altogether. When we made the energy bars, we didn’t use any sweetener, and they turned out great.