He follows the "get out the door as quickly as possible" schooMl of thought, which has resulted in him skipping breakfast for a while now. He says it's because "he doesn't have time" for it, which I'm almost certain means he'd rather sleep in an few extra minutes. I hate to get all "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" on him, but I do believe everyone should eat something before they start off their day. I thought if I made his breakfast as grab-and-go as possible he'd be more likely to actually eat something before lunch. That's where these bars come in.
I wanted to make a snack reminiscent of a Larabar, one that's vegan and made from just a few, relatively unprocessed ingredients. Specifically, I was thinking of the Cashew Cookie flavor, which has just two ingredients -- dates (mmm, nature's caramel!) and cashews. My bars have a higher nut to date ratio though, so if you'd like a chewier, stickier bar just increase the amount of dates to about 2-3 cups. You can also leave out the coconut or substitute it for something else, like chopped dried fruit or chocolate chips. The recipe below is just a guideline, so please experiment and make it your own.
I'm pleased to report that these bars were tasty enough to persuade Austin to eat breakfast several times this week. I'm sure he'll get sick of them eventually though, so I'd love to hear what portable breakfasts you all enjoy.
Cashew, Coconut and Date Bars
Makes 8 bars
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cup packed pitted dates, or about 17 large dates (they can be pricey, so I buy mine in bulk at Sam's)
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
2. Transfer the mixture to a parchment or plastic lined square or rectangular baking dish. If you have an 8 by 8 baking dish, use that. Evenly distribute the mixture along the bottom of the pan, pressing it down firmly. If, like me, you're using a larger baking dish, just spread the mixture along the pan until the bars are about 1/2 inch thick and even out the edge that doesn't touch the pan with your hands.
3. Refrigerate the bars for at least 1 1/2 hours before carefully cutting them into 8 sections. If you've added more dates, you can probably get away with shortening chilling them for a shorter period of time. Individually wrap them, put them in plastic baggies or tupperware and store them in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy them. If left outside the fridge, they'll get softer and may not hold together as well, but they'll still be delicious.