Cacao Oat Energy Bars

Hey friends! How are you all on this lovely sunshiny day? Quick post coming at ya because I finally have a free day and I want to baaaaask in it. 

I'm a little sad to move on so quickly from my Vancouver recap because boy did that post take a lot of time. But no matter! I would feel bad keeping these from you any longer.

My fam and I shared an energy bar-type thing at a coffee shop in Seattle last week. It was really tasty, but I suspect it was made with melted chocolate and perhaps some butter. I loved every bite of it and it was definitely energy food (sugar, wheee!), but somewhat lacking in the health department. When I'm not eating vacation-style, I prefer my between-meal noshes to be slightly more virtuous (and equally delicious). 

These bars pack the same chocolatey, energizing punch, while also packing fiber, complex carbs, micronutrients like magnesium, and healthy fats. They keep my stomach full, my blood sugar stable, my mood sky high, and my step peppy. 

Make 'em. love 'em. be happy.

Cacao Oat Energy Bars:

  • 1/8 cup each: almonds, gogi berries, pepitas, dried coconut, unsweetened dried cherries, chia seeds (feel free to sub out anything you don't have. Use any combination of nuts, fruit, etc.)
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6-8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 heaping tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups rolled oats

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Line a loaf pan or 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil. Put all of the 1/8 cup ingredients (does that make sense?) into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of crushed gravel (what are these directions today honestly). Remove the...gravel...from the bowl and set aside.

Into the empty food processor bowl, add the banana, oil, dates, cacao, and cinnamon. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the oats and the fruit/nut (gravel) mixture and pulse until everything is roughly mixed. Don't go too long! 

Scrape the dough into the pan and use your hands or a spatula to pack it down, spreading it out to the sides and corners. Freeze until firm, 10-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate topping by melting all ingredients together. Cool slightly.

Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate topping in zigzags over the hardened bars, then freeze again for a minute to harden the topping. 

Use the foil to pull the bars out of the pan, then peel the foil off and slice bars into 1 in pieces. They're pretty dense, so I cut them small. You can always go back for seconds ;)