My kids are obsessed with bars. Regardless of how much they love fresh fruit, dried veggies, cheese, etc – bars are their favorite snack. Every time. Which I’m okay with. But some of the store bought ones, even the organic, can be loaded with sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy store-bought options. But I look for ones that are high in protein and fiber and use natural sugar, if possible.
Every time I make my own bars at home, I reminded just how easy they are to make. And find myself wondering why I don’t do this every time. And these Vegan Cranberry Almond and Cacao Energy Bars are no exception. Had I not been photographing them, they’d have been made in 10 minutes and chilling in the fridge for another 30, then ready. Or more likely in the freezer for 15 because I tend to be impatience. Either way, they’re a breeeeze to make. And so good!
If you like some texture to your raw bars, like me, then you’ll follow the directions as is, adding the first six ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth, then stir in the pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Dump the mixture into a plastic lined 9×13 dish, or 8×8 for thicker bars, and press firmly. Top bars with dried cranberries and cacao nibs, press firmly again and refrigerate. It’s that easy.
If you prefer smooth bars with less crunch, similar to a Lara or RX bar, you can just add ALL ingredients to the food processor bowl and process until smooth. To know you’ve got the right consistency, you should be able to pinch the mixture together and it hold it’s shape. If it’s too crumbly, add more maple syrup or dates. If it’s too wet, add a bit more almond flour.
Vegan Cranberry Almond and Cacao Energy Bars:
- 4 grams protein, 3 grams fiber
- Ready in ten minutes
- Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, VEGAN
- No Added Sugar, naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup
- Peanut Butter + Almond meals + Cacao Powder + Dates, need I say more?
I like to cut and wrap the bars right away, so they’re easy to grab and take on the go. I send them in Josh’s lunch, pack them for errands with the kids, and eat them myself for an afternoon pick-me-up snack.
Vegan Cranberry Almond and Cacao Energy Bars
- Add medjool dates, almond flour, peanut butter, maple syrup, raw cashews, and cacao powder to bowl of food processor. Process on high for 15-20 seconds or until a fairly smooth consistency is reached. You should be able to pinch some together and have it holds it’s shape. If it’s too try, add a bit more maple syrup or a couple more dates. If it’s too wet, add a tablespoon or two of almond flour.
- Once the ingredients listed above are well combined, remove the blade and stir in pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Line a 9x13 pan with plastic wrap, or use an 8x8 for thicker bars, then add mixture to pan and spread out evenly, then press firm with the back of a spatula. I like to add plastic wrap to the top of them and press down firmly.
- Top with dried cranberries and cacao nibs, press with spatula again, then refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove and cut into 16 bars, wrap individually in plastic wrap so they’re ready to take on the go! Store in refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!
- Blanched Almond Flour: I haven’t tried it, but I think almond meal would work just as well if you don’t have almond flour
- Peanut Butter: Substitute Almond butter or nut butter of choice if allergic to peanuts
- Cacao Powder: Cocoa powder is fine if you do not have cacao powder
- Sunflower Seeds: Feel free to just add 2 more tbsp of pumpkin seeds if you don’t have both
- Cacao Nibs: If you don’t need vegan/dairy-free, you can substitute with mini chocolate chips