These nut, fruit and carob squares without added sugar remind me of the cubes sold in bulk bins at many health food stores, Chunks of Energy. They’re perfect for when you want something sweet with coffee or chai, or a glass of almond milk, without going into the cookie jar or raiding the chocolate stash. Simple to make, too! The formula upon which these are loosely based comes from Maria Makes Muffins, a clean eating (nonvegan) blog. You could form them into balls and roll them in coconut, but I like to press the mixture into an 8 x 8 square pan, chill, and cut them. If you like the extra tang, toss 1/4 cup more dried cranberries in as you mix it all together!!
Update: I wanted to make these for something sweet to pack in lunches, but had no cashews in the house. So I substituted raw walnuts (1 cup) and added raw sunflower seeds (1/3 cup). The results are incredibly yummy! Pulse walnuts in food processor and remove them, just as you would cashews, and toss the sunflower seeds in with the remaining ingredients.
Makes 16 squares
Prep Time: 10 minutes (or less!)
Chill Time: 20 minutes
1 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup flaked coconut, plus a little more to sprinkle on top
2 T tahini
2 T carob powder
zest of one orange
fresh juice of that same orange
just a little coconut oil for greasing pan
Step One: Gather ingredients and zest the orange.
Step Two: Pulse cashews in food processor till they’re chopped up medium-fine. Be careful not to turn them into nut butter.
Step Three: Remove chopped cashews from food processor. Process the dried fruits, coconut, tahini, carob powder, and orange zest for 20 seconds or until mixture is well combined but not completely pureed.
Step Four: Squeeze orange juice into the mixture; pulse another 10 seconds.
Step Six: Press mixture into glass 8 x 8 dish lightly greased with a very small amount of coconut oil. Sprinkle with a little flaked coconut and press it into the top. Chill for twenty minutes and cut into squares. Store in ziploc bags or other container in the fridge or freezer.