I’ve been on the fence about whether to share these bars I made over the summer (yes, summer. Although I’ve done quite a lot of cooking and baking the past couple weeks, I’ve been pretty lax about photographing the process and end products. Just going to blame the poor lighting in this house :P) These bars are a great snack or treat. Nuts form the base, dried fruit provides the sweetness, fresh spinach gives a wonderful green color, and pumpkin seeds lend just the right contrast in texture.
The downside? Super Sticky. The “dough” is so tacky you need to use some wax paper to help shape it into a square.
And in spite of storing in the fridge, they maintain their sticky state. These bars are definitely not the type of bar to pack for a hike or picnic. But … they are really good. Just enjoy with a fork or spoon :)
Raw Green Vanilla Pumpkin Seed Bars – barely adapted from somephreshperspective
1 cup of raw unsalted nuts (I used a mix of raw cashews and blanched slivered almonds)
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
2 handfuls of baby spinach
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp. honey (optional – I felt they were sweet enough from the dried fruits)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (or any other seed)
Blend the nuts in a food processor for about 15 sec. or so. Add the dates, dried fruit, spinach, chia seeds, vanilla, salt and honey (if using). Blend until a thick green ball / paste forms. Add a splash of water if the dough is too thick / balled, and process a few seconds more.
Place the dough in the center of a piece of wax paper and fold the edges over it, pushing to form it into a square. Unfold the paper and press the pumpkin seeds into the top. Re-fold the paper and place in the fridge for about 2 hours (or in the freezer for 20 as long as you move it into the fridge after.) Cut into pieces (using a bench scraper is most helpful here).
Yield – 9 bars
* next time I make these bars, I’m going to go less “raw” by soaking the nuts and roasting the pumpkin seeds. In general, it’s better to consume your nuts and seeds roasted or soaked (quite a lot of literature out there to support this, but here’s a great summary on the benefits of Soaking Your Nuts from Sarah).