Raw Goji Cacao Brain Booster Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free)
The purple and yellow crocus flowers that bloomed along my walkway this week are lighting up my brain with anticipation for the beauty of Springtime. I cut the ends off of the clutch of daffodils I keep set in a crystal vase, facing the long window in my living room. Most days I wrap my shoulders in a blanket or don a light woven sweater to stave off what cold is left hanging on from the Winter. I drink hot tea and double up on my morning coffee. Water droplets hang on the branches of my bare cherry tree. I step outside, feel humidity sift through the air like Springs first yawn.
It's time to replace the collections on my windowsills, the trinkets I sparingly place in the nooks around my house. Time for stained glass and crystals to hang from the window frame, painting my living room with winking, bent colors; for air plants to find homes in the hanging glass bubbles that I've arranged on a white wall; for bright copper and bone and painted ceramic bowls filled with fresh flower buds. Time to breath out all of that stale air left over from the long shiver. Time to breath in renewal, fresh water & air & light drawing us all into new selves.
This year I'm feeling a strong draw to eat more raw foods. Specifically, to explore more in regards to snacks and sweets that I can make grain free and thus more invigorating. I've been craving movement more than ever this year: both that intoxicating feeling of release/achievement you get post workout and the joy of movement itself. I like to give myself a little bit of extra nutritional support to go along with that energetic pulse. To me, grain free = easier to digest = more energy. And when I think about making recipes that are grain free, I immediately gravitate to raw foods.
This raw bar is super nourishing, full of good fats to support sustained energy and a healthy brain. Goji is high in antioxidants, hemp is a balanced protein with omega 3's, bee pollen is an amino acid power house. Just a few of the reasons I love all of those ingredients individually. Combined, these brain boost bars might give you super powers.
- Almond layer
- 1.5 cups almond meal/flour
- 5 dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- pinch himalayan sea salt
- Cacao Walnut Layer
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 3 dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- pinch himalayan sea salt
- *optional: 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 2 tablespoons bee pollen (omit if strictly vegan, or replace with more cacao nibs)
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In the bowl of a high powered blender, combine the almond flour, 5 dates, coconut oil, and sea salt, blending until you have a pliable dough.
- Shape into a round ball and them press into the bottom of your loaf pan for your first layer.
- Wipe out the bowl of your blender before making the next layer.
- In the blender, combine the walnuts, cacao nibs, hemp hearts, dates, coconut oil, sea salt, and orange zest until the mix is pliable and can be pressed together into a dough ball.
- Shape the mix into a ball, then press it on top of the almond layer.
- Top with the goji berries and bee pollen.
- Freeze for 15-20 minutes before cutting into bars or squares.
- Eat immediately or keep the bars sealed and refrigerated for up to a week.