Chocolate Cherry Date Bars (Paleo, Vegan)


I love the combination of cherries and almonds (as seen in my previous posts: Cherry Almond Smoothie and Almond Cherry Thumbprint Jam Cookies). These date bars are similar to a Lara Bar and are bursting with the flavours of cherries, almonds, and chocolate. Perfect for an afternoon power lift or grab and go snack.

Sansational!

 

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Makes about seven bars

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw almonds
10 Medjool dates, pitted
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup chocolate chips (I use dairy free, Enjoy Life brand)
dash or two of sea salt
¼ tsp almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I used a Vitamix) until a sticky mixture is formed.

2. Grab a small handful and shape into small square bars or balls.

Enjoy!

 

Sansational Tips:

1. Any combination of dried fruits or nuts will work with this recipe. If you don’t have dried cherries, dried cranberries are delicious too!

2. Look for apple juice sweetened dried cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries, instead of the one sweetened with sugar.  I recently bought a mixed bag at Costco and my local health food store always has apple juice sweetened dried cranberries.




Cherry Almond Smoothie (Paleo, Vegan)


Cherries and almonds are so delicious together and I believe are an under-utilized combination. I bought a bag of organic frozen cherries at Costco last weekend and thought I would try the cherries in a smoothie with almond flavourings. The result was… Sansational.  Try it for breakfast!

 

image Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Vega Protein & Greens)
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water 6-8 ice cubes ice

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

Sansational Tip: I often prepare my smoothie ingredients in the blender cup the night before and leave in the refrigerator overnight to take out for easy blending in the morning. This makes for a quick grab and go smoothie.