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Monday, January 11, 2016

Cacao Fruit and Nut Bars

I'm here to let you in on a little secret. Remember when they told you that if it tasted really good it's probably bad for you? Well, they lied. This is great news, because I don't often feel like eating sweet things, but when I do I tend to catch the next express train to Crazy Town and throw my self-control out of the window on the way there. It's normally when I'm feeling highly emotional (pretty much every four weeks), and I'm sure that chocolatey goodness has to be up there with laughter as far a good medicines go, right? 

I came across this recipe in another great cookbook - The Medicinal Chef. These nut bars (or 'Fabulous Fridge Cakes' as they are called in the book) are sweet, rich and chocolatey and exactly what you need on those days when all you want to do is lay on the couch, eat something decadent and watch trashy TV (or is that just me?).

Ingredients (makes 8 pieces)

8 tablespoons of pepitas and sunflower seeds (with extra set aside for the top of the bars)
3 handfuls of goji berries (with extra set aside for the top of the bars)

1 handful pitted dates
4 tablespoons cacao powder (found in the health food aisle of most grocery stores)
1 teaspoon desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons of pecans and walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon of dried apricots, chopped

Place the seeds, goji berries, pitted dates, cacao powder, desiccated coconut and cinnamon in a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse a few times to create a stiff coarse mixture. 

Add the melted coconut oil to the rest of the ingredients in the processor and blend at full speed until they have combined thoroughly into a firm paste.

Line a 20cm rectangular cake tin with baking paper, turn the mixture into the tin and press down firmly 
so that the mixture completely covers the base of the tin. Sprinkle the reserved seeds and goji berries  over the top, along with the chopped nuts and apricot, and press down lightly. Place in the freezer for about an hour, or until set firm. Slice into about 8 even pieces. 

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