No Bake Cacao Flax Bars

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I am so excited about these cacao bars!  One of my favorite cafés near us has a delicious cacao flax bar that tastes exactly like a brownie.  My goal has become to replicate this fluffy brown pseudo-brownie for myself.  So I found this recipe on Glowing Communications for “raw brownies” and thought I’d give it a shot.  It’s a pretty simple recipe and the ingredients require no baking.  While I have been downing these bars for a snack and dessert since I’ve made them, I will say that it does not make a fluffy brownie-quality cake, which is why I am calling it a “bar” instead of a “brownie.”  Instead, it has almost a Power Bar, fudge-like consistency.  But honestly, it is fine by me, because it is still delicious and also pretty healthy!  The dates give it a sweet, cherry-like flavor on top of the cacao.  If you want to be a little less healthy with these brownies, throw some chocolate chunks on top like I did for Adam.  Yum!

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I altered the original recipe I found based on what I had in my cupboards.  Mainly, I replaced walnuts with cashews because Adam is somewhat allergic to walnuts (unfortunately).  I also reduced the nut content from two cups to one cup because I am not a fan of super-nutty brownies.  If you love that nutty taste in your brownies, though, go crazy and double the nuts!

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What is great about these “brownies” is that they are totally customizable based on their toppings.  As you can see below, I created rows of different bars with different toppings.  I topped one set with dried cherries, one with chocolate chunks, and kept one plain.  You can even roll them into balls for a quick no-bake chocolate ball to go!  With a snack like this to give me an afternoon pick-me-up without the sugar crash later on, I will definitely be making these again.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews, walnuts or other nuts
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder (or ground down cacao nibs)
  • 1.5 cups pitted dates (about 14)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 vanilla beans)
  • Topping Ideas: cacao nibs, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts or nut butter

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Directions:

  • Line an 8×8 pan with wax paper.
  • Pit ~14 dates, placing dates in a small bowl and throwing pits in the trash.
  • Combine everything in the food processor except the dates.  
  • While food processor is running, drop dates into chute one at a time.
  • After it is all combined, take mixture and spread it into the pan.  It should be a chunky quality – take your hands and spread it evenly throughout the pan.  
  • Take the toppings of your choice and push them into the tops of the brownies.  If you’re using a nut butter, like almond butter, spread it on top.
  • Refrigerate or freeze until cooled and ready to cut and enjoy!  

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3 thoughts on “No Bake Cacao Flax Bars

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