Posts tagged no bake treats 2
The worlds healthiest fudge

This wasn’t supposed to be a fudge recipe.

This was supposed to be an energy power bar recipe!

It still is an energy bar recipe…..it just so happened to turn into fudge too….crazy things do sometimes happen!

Now, before you get ahead of yourself, these little treats aren’t identical to fudge…so don’t go expecting a regular sugar loaded, melt in your mouth (furry teeth inducing) fudge morsel.  These little treats are full of healthy ingredients, are sugar free and have a really soft but firm, chocolatey,  fudgey bite to them, I find them really moreish and the only word I could use to describe them is…well…fudgey!

Perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or a post work-out protein boost.  What provides the protein…black beans of course!

I have lots of notes and saved recipes from websites and books for various types of granola bars, energy bars, baked bars, raw bars….. and these bars were inspired by Enlightened Cooking who’s power bar recipe can be found here I was intrigued by the simple concept, having used beans plenty of times in my baking before, but never in a raw form. My recipe followed closely along the same lines with a few tweaks of my own.

The ‘dough’ is so simple to prepare and very easy to handle. It is also very ‘accommodating’, and by that I mean it holds together really well, so I imagine it could take all sort of mix-ins without a problem….chunks of nuts, fruits, chocolate chips. Feel free to experiment with your favourite flavours. I have used both cranberry and coconut here.

Recipe: black bean energy ‘fudge’

Makes approx 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 200gor ½ can black beans- rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium mashed banana
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (or raw cacoa powder for an even healthier boost)
  • 1/3 cup dates
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½  tsp cinnamon
  • ¼  tsp stevia
  • ½ cup ground oats
  • 2 tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs chia seeds (optional)
  • Optional:
  • Dessicated coconut to coat
  • Cranberries (or other dried fruit)- finely chopped and mixed through

Method

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth dough is formed. Add additional dried fruit here also if using. The dough should be fairly tacky but not sticky and should be easy to handle.

Form a log of dough approx. 5cm in diameter. Roll the log in desiccated coconut if desired.

Using a sharp knife, cut the log into rounds approx. 1-2cm thick. Store in a sealed contained in the fridge for up to a week. (these also freeze well).

Note: to form ‘bars’ divide the dough and roll into individual logs and flatten slightly.

 The fudge log before it was cut into pieces, see how soft and malleable the dough looks...just waiting for all those creative mix-ins!

By now you probably already know I've used beans to pack a protein punch and substitute some of the fats in many of my recipes (i don't stop going on about them)..... check out my blondies, my brownie torte and my sticky toffee pudding .  I have also made a few raw energy bars.... like my absolute favourite choc-orange smoosh bars , my power cubes and my raw gingerbread.


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Date syrup and paste

This is a little quickie recipe…if you can even call it a recipe! My toffee granola bars posted last week and also my sticky toffee pudding called for using date syrup, and since it is so easy to make your own I thought I’d share a post dedicated to it.

Dates also have many nutritional benefits, particularly when compared with many other sweeteners and are also very popular with raw foodists. Without going into great detail here; dates are a rich source of dietary fibre, iron and a number of minerals, and are also very rich in antioxidant flavonoids offering protection to the cells in the body. For me the biggest reason to use them- they are a wholefood form of sweetener.

I use a lot of dates, particular in their raw form in my smoosh bar varieties, so I have bought a large box in bulk making for an economical syrup. I use organic deglet noor dates, but either deglet noor or medjoul dates (which are larger and slightly more juicy) should work fine. Medjoul may even be preferable but since I haven’t yet tried using these dates I cannot confirm this.

You can either make a date paste or a syrup simply depending on how much water you add. Paste like syrups work better at binding things together whereas a looser syrup works best to spoon over or mix through- i.e spooning over the sticky toffee pudding…Mmmmm!

Since dates naturally have a caramelly, toffee like flavour they make the perfect sweetener for a toffee or caramel flavoured dessert, this can be enhanced with other sweeteners such as brown rice syrup when a very sweet caramelly flavour is required in a desert, but on their own they provide a lovely subtle sweetness. I also add a touch of vanilla extract to the syrup to subtly enhance the flavour, but other flavours or spices could be used too.

The date syrup pictured used 1 cup of water.

Recipe: date paste/syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 heaped cup of dates (I used 1 heaped cup to compensate for the fact the dates were whole and not packed in- so you want to visually aim for a fairly packed cup)
  • ½ cup hot water-
  • for a thick paste
  • 1 cup hot water-
  • for a thick syrup ( used this for my granola bars)
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • - for a smoother easily spoon-able syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract- optional

Method

Place the dates in a small/medium bowl. Pour the required amount of boiling water over the dates and leave to soften for approx. 30 minutes. Once softened pour the contents of the bowl, along with a little vanilla extract, in to a blender (I used my thermomix) and blend until smooth.

Pour the syrup into a jar and store in the fridge if not using straight away.  This keeps for at least two weeks in sealed container.

Note: the more water used the more 'dilute' the dates become and therefore less sweet the syrup. If you are afer a sweet syrup you may like to add a little stevia or brown rice syrup also.


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