An easy to make, protein-rich nutty treat with a chocolate fix! Many people shy away from nuts as calorie-laden but not all calories are equal – nuts are a marvellous source of essential nutrients. These should be an occasional treat (rather than a daily staple!), as a healthier alternative to processed sugary treats. So easy for kids to make too.

Free-From
Gluten-free, Dairy-free. Vegetarian , Vegan. However, do check the contents of the chocolate you are using!

Nutritional Highlights
Cashews – a good source of protein, essential fats, magnesium, potassium, iron, biotin & zinc. The monounsaturated fats in cashews are known to protect against heart disease and cancer.

Dates – an easily-digested carbohydrate (most dates contain glucose or fructose) which is rich in antioxidants, fibre, B vitamins and minerals copper, potassium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc & selenium. Excellent for adding softness to stools and aiding the digestive tract.

Chocolate – rich in flavonoid antioxidants helpful for a healthy heart, reducing blood clotting and managing cholesterol levels. Chocolate contains a substance believed to give feelings of love and euphoria – hence why many people feel better after eating chocolate.   However, make your choice a wise one – the higher the cocoa content, the higher the love! Choose 70%+ cocoa content and buy raw cacao when you can.

Oats – a good source of manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium & iron. An excellent source of digestive-friendly fibre. Oat fibre is well-known to reduce cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy choice too.

Ingredients (makes approx. 6 large bars or 12 small ones)
1 cup cashews
½ cup dates (Medjool or California dates are best)
½ cup gluten-free oats
100g bar of 70% dark chocolate (Green & Blacks)

Make me!

  1. Break chocolate into small pieces & add to glass bowl
  2. Put the bowl over a pan of hot water – make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and do not allow the water to boil or simmer – you may have to keep removing from the heat. Scorching the chocolate can spoil the flavour
  3. Add cashews and dates to food processor and whizz until you get a breadcrumb-like texture
  4. Add cashews and dates to the chocolate mixture
  5. Add oats and mix well
  6. Pour into silicone moulds (these are best to get crisp edges on your bar) or a greased tin or tray (these may be harder to cut into bars)
  7. Refrigerate until hard, then store in a glass or metal storage container

OPTION 1: To increase the antioxidant content and reduce sugar content, replace the chocolate bar with raw cacao powder. Add more dates to sweeten or to make a gooier mixture if required.

OPTION 2: If you find the dark chocolate too strong or want to be grain-free, then just do stage 3 and roll the cashew and date mixture into tiny balls (left picture) and refrigerate.

Cup measurements
This recipe uses US cup measurements, I tend to use cups as they are so much easier than measuring out ingredients. You can buy a set of American stainless steel cups like these for between £10-£20. Alternatively, here is a conversion chart.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my blog, please comment below…