Need a nutrition-packed pick-me-up?
I’ve got one for ya. (As well as a bunch of hyphenated words. You’re welcome.)
These tasty and filling bars are bursting with some of my favorite nutrient-dense super foods. Check out this all-star line up:
Activated buckwheat groats
They’re moist, chewy, crunchy, nutty, and subtly sweet, not to mention a great source of healthy plant-based protein, fiber, omega 3s, and iron. Also the combination of sticky sweet date caramel and crunchy activated buckwheat groats (don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to make these yourself, so easy!) kinda sorta reminds me of rice crispy treats. Mmm mmm. I’m feelin’ pepped up already.
Like most of the creations I share here, these plant powered bars are like a blank canvas. I invite you to put your own creative spin on them by adding vegan chocolate chips, dried fruit (I think chopped dried apricots or dried cherries would be awesome in these!), or switch up the coconut or pistachios with other nuts or more buckwheat. They’re extremely versatile and virtually fool-proof.
If these turbo charged whole food bars can’t get you through that afternoon slump, I don’t know what will!
Caramel Coconut Buckwheat Energy Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free)
Makes about 12 servings
- 1 cup packed Medjool dates (soaked in hot water for a few minutes and drained)
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup soaked and dehydrated raw buckwheat groats (*see below for directions)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or sub more buckwheat)
- 1/2 cup chopped raw pistachios or other chopped nut or seed
- 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- optional add-ins: chocolate chips, dried fruit, other nuts, seeds or cereals
Start by making the caramel. In a food processor, combine the first 5 ingredients. Process until fairly smooth, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll need to scrape the sides down a few times. Add the remaining items and pulse until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Add the mixture to a parchment lined 8 x 8 pan for thin bars or find smaller containers for thicker bars. Use a piece of parchment to lay over the top of the mixture and press down as hard as you can. I used a small jar to roll across the top to flatten them out. The hard you press, the better they will stay together. Cover and freeze for a couple of hours and then cut into bars.
*To make the crispy activated buckwheat, simply cover your buckwheat in plenty of filtered water plus a few squeezes of lemon. Soak overnight. In the morning, rinse your soaked buckwheat in a fine mesh strainer very, very well. Rinse off all the slime! Dump out the buckwheat on a few layers of tea towels or paper towels and carefully blot some of the moisture. Add the buckwheat to your dehydrator, and dehydrate until completely dry and crispy. This took no time at all in my cheap little dehydrator. You can also try dehydrating your buckwheat in the oven set on the lowest temperature. More details can be found here.
You may be able to use rolled oats in place of buckwheat, but I haven’t tried it. If you do, let us know in the comments. Definitely wouldn’t recommend using the buckwheat unless it’s been soaked and dehydrated, as it is a bit too hard and crunchy otherwise; plus activating it makes it much easier to digest and to obtain it’s nutrients.
Do you make your own energy or protein bars?