Happy Friday! We’ve come to the final recipe of almond week and I truly believe I’ve saved the best for last. One of my favorite pre-Whole30 snacks was a good almond butter and cherry jam sandwich on honey whole wheat bread with a nice glass of chocolate almond milk. Yum City. Except the majority of those items are on the no-no list for Whole30. So, I had to get creative to get my fix. Technically, you’re not supposed to snack while you’re on Whole30. So, if you’re doing this thing by the book, these are better added to a full meal to account for your fat and fruit.
There’s also a funny story to go along with these little power bars. Some of you remember that we were holding off on introducing allergenic foods to our eczema-prone princess, including nuts but sometimes things don’t go as planned. We were playing in a volleyball tournament all day and had the help of our wonderful aunt to watch Cody. I had packed lots of goodies for everyone, including some B(ea)LT jar salads, almond milk and paleo jerkey. I also packed oatmeal bars for Cody and suggested that Cody munch on those if she got hungry.
Wouldn’t you know we got the oatmeal bars and power bars (chock full of nuts) mixed up and our little delicate flower had almost two whole bars to herself! When we discovered it I had a moment of panic and then realized this was really the best of both worlds. I wouldn’t have to deal with the anxiety of giving her nuts and I would know whether was allergic. Win win. Thankfully, she was fine and now we know that these bars (and nuts in general) are her jam!
Active Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: Big Fat Goose Egg!
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- 4 cups dates, dried and pitted
- 1.5 cups of dried cherries (sugar free if you’re doing Whole30-Trader Joe’s has them!)
- 2 cups roasted, unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup almond butter (homemade is great here!)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Dump your pitted dates into the bowl of a food processor and process until it is relatively smooth and forms a big ball, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl. Next, do the same with your dried cherries – these may not form a ball, depending on which kind you use. Add the cherries to the bowl with the dates. Both the dates and the cherries should be in paste form and be easily workable with your hands, albeit sticky.
Finally, add the cashews to the food processor and pulse until you’re left with small pieces the size of grains of rice. Add the cashews, almond butter and a dash of salt to the bowl with the dates and cherries and using your hands, knead them all together until well combined.
To make bars, turn the mixture out onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the ball with another sheet of parchment paper and use your hands to press it down into a disc about 2 inches thick. Next, use a rolling pin to spread the mixture out as close as you can get it to half an inch and then, lay another identical rimmed baking sheet to press the mixture flat and into the corners of the baking sheet to have squared edges (you can also use a book or any other large flat surface). Next, use a knife to cut the mixture into bars. I like to make mine close to 3-inch squares.
Store flat in an airtight container using parchment paper on the bottom and between layers to avoid sticking. Seriously, these bars are heaven and I hope you will enjoy them!