When I worked in an office, the afternoons often came with an energy slump. Most of the time I packed enough snacks to get me through the afternoons, but once in a while I wanted a snack that was packed with nutrition but would also satisfy my sweet tooth. There was a coffee shop not far from work that had THE MOST DELICIOUS raw energy squares. They were packed with dates, raisins, gogi berries, nuts and seeds, and I loved them so much that my dear friend even sought out the manager and tried to get the recipe for me. Unfortunately, they were not interested in sharing.
I went back to that coffee shop when I was in that area of the city not so long ago, looking for my favourite snack, only to be told they stopped making the raw energy squares. I’ve been thinking about them off and on ever since, and finally decided to try to recreate them. And I’m so happy I did, because this recipe for raw energy bars is even more tasty than theirs. These Quick and Easy Raw Energy Squares can be made in minutes and are jam packed with natural goodness to sustain you for hours.
The glue that holds these raw energy squares together is a combination of plump, soft raisins and Medjool dates. It is important that the dates and raisins be soft and sticky to hold everything together. If they’re not, they can be soaked in warm water to soften for 10-15 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.
Health supporting properties of ingredients:
Dates are high in fiber, potassium and polyphenols, and also contain B6 and a small amount of iron. Raisins are a good source of antioxidants and calcium. In addition to the dates and raisins, every ingredient added to these raw energy squares offers health supporting benefits, including the following:
- Gogi berries are high in antioxidants.
- Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, protein and zinc and have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.
- Cacao nibs contain phenylalanine, tryptophan that converts to serotonin, and the “bliss chemical” anandamide. Cacao also contains theobromine which opens blood vessels to help the flow of nutrients and is a rich source of magnesium.
- Walnuts are one of the highest plant-based sources of omega-3 to support brain health as well as a source of protein to support blood sugar balance. Walnuts contain tryptophan, an important precursor to the mood hormone, serotonin, and melatonin, which is important for sleep regulation and circadian cycles.
- Sunflower seeds are rich in the B vitamins, which are essential for a healthy nervous system.They are also and a good source of vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and protein.
- Sesame seeds are a good source of bioavailable calcium.
- Coconut reduces inflammation, improves digestion, and feeds some good gut bacteria to support gut healing.
- Maca is an adaptogen that has been demonstrated to enhance mood, reduce the symptoms of depression and help to balance hormones.
It takes longer to go through the list of health supporting properties of the ingredients than it does to make these squares. One or two of these Quick and Easy Raw Energy Squares will provide a combination of protein, fiber and fats for blood sugar stability and hours of sustenance.
These delicious bars scream out for a glass of homemade milk.
Quick and Easy Raw Energy Squares
- food processor
- 2 cups Medjool dates pits removed
- 2 cups raisins
- ¼ cup gogi berries
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- 1 tbsp maca optional
- Add all ingredients to food processor. Process until well mixed together.
- Add mixture to parchment lined 9”x13” pan. Press down firmly. Chill for at least 2 hours for easier cutting.
- Cut into 30 squares. Store in the fridge. Freezes well.