The dog days of summer are here and we are loving each and every minute! There's something about that sweltering heat that makes me hungry. Luckily, I made these bars.
Sweet, fresh, slightly tart from the cherries - perfection in a bar! Plus they're vegan and gluten free! Can't beat it!
TAKE A BITE!
Fruit and Nut Chocolate Power Bars
Adapted from Strands of My Life
Ingredients:Vegetable or olive oil spray
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 1/4 cups dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, roasted
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup non-dairy bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Line a baking pan with foil, leaving some overhang, and spray with oil. Coat the inside of a large mixing bowl with oil spray. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse cashews until roughly chopped (no smaller than pea-sized pieces). Add to prepared mixing bowl. Spray food processor blade generously with oil. Add all fruits to food processor and pulse until a sticky paste forms, scraping down sides as needed.
Add fruit paste to cashew pieces in mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup almonds. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Press mixture firmly into prepared ban. Chill in freezer for about 30 minutes.
Spray a sharp knife with oil. Remove bars by foil overhang, place on cutting board and cut into 14 bars.
Place chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals until chips start to melt. Continue heating in 15 second intervals, stirring well between each, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cut bars. Set at room temperature until chocolate is firm, 15-30 minutes.