I have become quite obsessed with these goji berry and coconut raw bars. I take them with me everywhere. Yep, that's right, EVERYWHERE! I make them beforehand and bring them with me on almost every trip! With all raw ingredients, they store well and don't have to be refrigerated! Plus, they taste so yummy and are packed full of healthy antioxidants!
I am also one of those lucky people that tends to be quite allergic to certain foods like nuts, dairy, soy, and eggs. These allergies makes my breakfast options rather limited. So, in fairness, most of my excitement over these raw bars comes from the simple fact that I can actually eat them. Great taste and no allergic reaction... Win. Win. For me.
Granola - approx. 4-5 cups (I make my own, Recipe Here)
Medjool Dates - approx. 24 ounces (I have found Medjool work best.)
Goji Berries - approx. 6 ounces (If your granola doesn't already have goji berries.)
Coconut Flakes for Topping - 4-6 ounces (I prefer unsweetened, this is up to you.)
Parchment Paper - not an ingredient, but an important item!
Honey & Cinnamon - (This is dependent on how sweet & flavorful your granola is. Keep in mind dates are naturally quite sweet.)
The above proportions all depend on personal preference and on how many bars you are looking to make. In general, I start with two boxes of dates (24 ounces) and slowly mix in the granola to my liking. And, almost always, I have left over granola.
COCONUT AND GOJI BERRY RAW BAR RECIPE:
Step 01: Granola
I suppose, you can use store bought granola and just simply toast it yourself, or buy pre-roasted. But, my preference for quality control and consistency with this recipe, is to make my own! The recipe for my go-to granola can be found here! I highly recommend this recipe for these raw bars!
Step 02: Pit the Dates
Once the granola is ready, simply slice the dates down the center and remove the pits.
Step 03: Chop up the Dates
I find it easier to mix with the dates pre-chopped into smaller pieces.
Step 04: Mix. Mix. Mix.
Now, it's time to mix the granola with the dates! This is the messiest part of the process. I have tried several methods of doing this and quite frankly, I think using your hands is the only thing that really works well.
You want to make sure that no chunks of dates are left and that the granola is well coated. Slowly add in granola to ensure the mixture is just right. Don't add in too much granola from the start, because there is no going back! In my experience, more dates equates to bars that will stick and stay together better. Too much granola can cause the bars to be flaky and fall apart.
This is also when you will want to add goji berries if you aren't using my granola recipe that already has them mixed in. And, I always add more cinnamon and a little honey because I'm obsessed. Taste the mixture to make sure it is sweet and flavorful enough for you and play with adding ingredients to ensure it is what you want! Be mindful that the dates will add a lot of sweetness.
Step 05: Parchment
Place parchment paper into a container. Anything container-wise will work. I think it works best to choose something that has a top so you can easily store the bars once cut!
Step 06: Lay them Out
Lay out the mixture into the container. It is important to note that you want it to be even. If the edges are too thin for example, then the bars won't stay together well in that area.
Step 07: Add Coconut Flakes
Personally, I prefer toasted coconut to bring out the oils. My husband likes coconut better without the toasting. Either way, add a decent amount of flakes. I usually try to press them into the raw bars because they will fall off.
Step 08: Freezer
Lastly, place the container into the freezer for a few hours. This helps everything to harden particularly if your granola was fresh out of the oven. My granola has coconut oil in it that thickens up to help keep everything together!
Step 09: Cut Them Up!
Alright, this can be tricky. If you start to cut into the bars and the knife is sliding around, you didn't freeze them long enough (at least a few hours). What should happen is that they should be hard enough that you almost "chop" them into bar sizes! Make sure to not leave too little of space at the edges of your cuts or the bars will fall apart in those areas. (Side bar: how beautiful is this knife souvenir from Tokyo?! Ancient Samuri shops are now knife shops so it's a must if ever in Tokyo!)
More or less, this is what your bars should look like!!! At this point, they should be ready to enjoy. I usually keep mine in the fridge, but since all the ingredients are raw, it is up to you how you want to store them. Either way, these babies are delicious!!! Enjoy!!!
And, Don't forget to take these babies with you on your next adventure!!!