Yes, Ron and I are STILL on the east coast and eagerly awaiting our return to the Best Coast. (Are we there yet? No offense, New Englanders.) We also just finished our summer jobs and have been celebrating by going on a major tv and movie binge: Vampire Diaries! Bones! The Lucky One! In between dissertation work and jobs, we haven’t had much time to break in our new tv and sofa that we bought to outfit our new apartment. As you can see, we now have been firmly planted on our couch for days, and it’s been….glorious. Of course, the lack of exercise isn’t so glorious, and I’ve been trying to eat a little bit healthier after all this sitting (and after a major food fest at a great Italian restaurant for my friend’s birthday!).
This morning I saw that the lovely vegan blogger Angela from Oh She Glows recently posted a No-bake Peppermint Patty Energy Bar made with dates. Considering I had an entire bag of dates to eat before we leave, I became excited! Chocolate mint bars made from healthy, light ingredients? Of course I’m intrigued! Could they be good? Well, in the immortal words of Ron (who snuck a bar when I wasn’t looking), “Mmmmm, these taste like a chewier Mint Chocolate Clif bar!”
I adapted Angela’s Bars by adding a ton more cocoa, peppermint, and almond milk (double the amounts!), using less nuts with a combination of cashew and almond butter instead of walnuts and almonds, implementing plastic wrap instead of parchment paper, and blending vanilla protein powder with fiber powder instead of unflavored protein powder. Considering this recipe has no added sugar, these bars are delicious and guilt-free, friends! They are chewy, chocolatey, and minty–perfect for an after-dinner treat or post workout snack. I love the chocolate chips, too. They make these bars very rich and decadent. To store, wrap each bar with a little plastic wrap, and place all bars into a zip-lock bag into the freezer. (That way, they’re even more cool and minty fresh!) Thank you, Angela, for another delicious treat!
Peppermint Cocoa Energy Bars
1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almond milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 cup fiber powder
1/8 cup vanilla or chocolate protein powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup cashew butter
4 tbsp dark chocolate chips
Line a pie pan with two pieces of plastic wrap, laying them perpendicularly. Set aside.
In a food processor or blender, blend your dates til chopped. Add the oats, cocoa powder, salt, fiber powder, protein powder, peppermint extract, and almond milk. Blend til a roughly smooth consistency. Scrape the sides of your blender or food processor, as needed.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the chocolate chips. Mix together with your hands. Now, transfer mixture to the pie pan and mold and press into the bottom of the pan. Cover loosely with another piece of plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Let freeze for at least 30 minutes. Take out, and slice as you’d like. Store bars wrapped in saran wrap in a plastic bag, and take out when in need of a minty chocolate treat.