While I totally love my normal fudge/chocolate creations, they are strictly fridge to mouth options only, as they melt into a gooey mess within half an hour of being out of the chilly environment.
Not so practical for the lunchbox or if you want to take travel snacks.
There were a few inspirations for this recipe – one was a discussion with a co-worker at my part time day job, as to healthy snacks she could take for an upcoming trade show.
Another was this Sweet Prune Roll by Cass at Live it Do It – I’m a sucker for a super 2 ingredient recipe!
And another was the fact that I have been going to the cinema a bit lately to catch some movies, and I wanted to take something with me other than crunching my way through my macadamia stash.
So I’ll take your prune and coconut and raise you some dates, macadamia nuts, cacao powder and cacao butter!
The result? A room temp stable chocolately, healthy mouthful that’s just sweet enough. (For me anyway – you may need to adjust the sweetness according to the audience! Read on…)
When you look at all the new Paleo bars out there at the moment, the base is always dried fruit – it’s the part that sticks it all together to make it portable – so I went there. Just make sure you get prunes, dates and whatever else without preservative 220 or coated in sunflower oil – the health shop has them. Dried fruit – nothing else. In terms of staying healthy and away from the bad stuff, every little bit helps.
The other ingredients that help in the room temp stable goal is cacao butter and while it’s not in this recipe – coconut butter too is rock solid at room temperature, so both of these work better than coconut oil or real butter for your travelling adventures.
Ok so let’s get cooking… well melting and mixing anyway…
Rich Chocolate Travel Bars (Makes about 15 bars)
6 medjool dates
1 cup macadamia nuts (raw)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS rice malt syrup or honey
½ cup of cacao butter
2 heaped TBS cacao powder
Tip all, except the cacao butter, into a food processor and whiz for about 2-3 minutes until all ground up and resembles crumbs.
While that’s happening, melt your cacao butter in a double boiler.
Once melted, tip it into the food processor mixture and whiz for about 10 secs.
Now you can press the mix into silicon shapes, or roll it in balls or shape it into mini bars on a tray – whatever you like. Then chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Straight out of the fridge it is more chewy and really firm, kept out of the fridge, it does soften a little but doesn’t melt into a puddle in your hand!
So you could also make a roll like in the Prune Roll above and cut into slices, whatever is easiest for you.
A few of them I wrapped in baking paper and tried to stick it together with sticky tape – for a portable type wrapper. Not so successful – hello… non-stick paper! Derrr! Ah haa haa; it kind of worked but was way too fiddly for my liking. Foil worked much better and just twist the ends.
The dried fruit is interesting too because it adds a rich, fermented flavour to it, almost like liqueur! (Also I am mindful that the dried fruit is also a sugar source and I did all the numbers and each piece in this recipe is only equivalent to 1 tsp of sugar/honey – just in case you’re interested!)
I was visiting a friend who has a 2 year old and 4 year old and who often makes them home made healthy goodies. I took some of these and other sweeter peanut butter bites for them (I always double check to make sure no-one is PB allergic!) And they ate the PB ones first and loved them and took one bite of these and politely put it back down! Ha ha.
Enjoy your healthy chocolate bars while you’re out adventuring or even for your afternoon office snack.
***Early readers of my Loose Skin – The Answer book have described it as fitness for the skin – like a skin workout. Pretty accurate description. Only $1.00 and available here.