These energy-bars-in-the-round are humble in both ingredients (four) and preparation (no-baking, roughly 5 to 10 minutes total), but not flavor (luscious) or texture (rich and candy-like).
This is a new variation of my DIY LaraBars recipe from 8 years ago (still going strong at our house!). A few significant changes include cocoa powder (one of Central and South America’s original energy foods–antioxidants to the bizillionth power), but also coconut flour (just a little bit; it cuts back on the stickiness–on both hands and teeth–plus, it makes the bars a bit firmer than nuts and fruit alone).
Last, I opted for sunflower seeds in place of the nuts. They are so tasty and affordable, and a great allergy-friendly option for many. You can use raw seeds, but toasting them (or look for roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds) heightens their rich flavor exponentially.
To healthy chocolate.
And, now that I have eaten one one and a half of these pucks, here’s to Tuesday, too!
Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with hot (not boiling) water to cover. Let stand 10 minutes and then drain.
In a food processor, process the sunflower seeds into a fine flour. Add drained dates; process until blended. Add the cocoa powder, coconut flour and optional salt; process until blended into a cohesive “dough”.
Remove dough from processor and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and press each into a prepared muffin cup. . Refrigerate at least 30 minutes (until firm) before removing from tin).
Storage: Store the pucks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. These will keep at room temperature for more than a day, but will get softer.
Dried Fruit Options: Other moist dried fruit, such as raisins or prune can be used in place of the dates. The pucks will have a slightly fruity flavor (like chocolate covered raisins).