Saturday! It’s sunny and beautiful out and supposed to be 45 degrees here in New York! It makes me so happy to open my eyes and see the sun streaming in; it just makes the day SO much better! When I returned to school it’s going to be mayhem with test prep. We’ve had a pretty relaxing year, just being able to teach and enjoy the students, but now we have to hit the ground running. The testing schedule changed this year and we have the NYS ELA and MATH back to back at the end of April. Test prep will be starting this Tuesday, so I better not look back come Monday. I know the craziness will make the rest of the year fly. Usually by now we have one test down and Math to go in March.
So in getting prepared, I know I’ll need extra cups of coffee energy and in order to get extra energy I decided to make these goji and cacao nibs bars to help with an extra pick me up throughout the day. I made these on Thursday, my crazy baking day and they were super easy to prepare but took super long to bake. They took a long time because I made them in the oven and they are suppose to be made in a dehydrator (which I don’t have, but is on a wish list for when I have a house and a spot to put it!)
You need to soak the nuts for these bars, but don’t let that scare you. (I received way too many mentions when I posted that on twitter…) It’s super easy, you just need to soak them in water and walk away! I got this recipe from here, Rawmazing.com. This website has amazing recipes for meals, flatbreads, bars and drinks as well as information on raw eating. I don’t eat a high (or low) raw diet, but it’s fun to incorporate that way of eating into my diet (and by diet I don’t mean I’m on one, I mean the way I eat)!
1 cup Almonds, soaked
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked
1 cup flax seeds, soaked in 1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1. Soak almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds for about 6 hours. Drain almonds and sunflower seeds.
2. Set your oven to the lowest setting possible. Mine is 170 degrees. Place almonds and sunflower seeds in the food processor. Leave them chunky.
3. Add the agave and cinnamon. Pulse.
4. Remove contents into a large bowl. Add goji berries, flax seeds and cacao nibs. *The flax seeds will be a gelly consistency, that is how it’s supposed to be! Don’t try to drain them!
5. Press onto a rectangle baking sheet. (I cut wax paper to the size of the sheet and put it on there.) You want them to be about 1/2 inch thick.
6. Let “bake” as 170 degrees for 3 hours. Take out of the oven and flip over. Take off the wax paper. Put back in the oven for another 2 hours. They need to be crunchy. I ended up cutting them after 5 hours and sticking them back in. This makes about 24 (1″ x 3″) bars.
You can obviously bake these at a higher setting and they will be done faster. I wanted to try to adhere to the original directions as much as possible. You can also dip these in chocolate when they are finished, which I may still do.
Why leave these (almost) raw? Read about it here!
Goji berries, almonds, flax seeds and cacao nibs have many nutritional benefits. We know about the benefits of almonds. They are high in protein, zinc and calcium. Almonds are also a great source of vitamin E magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Golden flax seeds contain 27 cancer preventing substances while also giving you a good dose of omega 3’s, which are great in the battle against heart disease. Goji berries are high in protein, amino acids and are packed with antioxidants. Cacao nibs are partially ground cacao beans, which are the beans that chocolate comes from. Cacao is full of antioxidants and trace minerals and will give you a little pick me up, too! (source)
Eat these and you will be sure to have some extra energy, not to mention you will love the taste of them!
I sprinkled them in my yogurt AND took one as a snack yesterday while I was running around.