Cherry, chocolate and coffee is really one of the best flavor combos ever. (See also: my Mocha Cherry Coconut Milkshake. mmmm) These little guys have a texture similar to LaraBars (maybe a little drier) and have a little chew from the cherries and a little crunch from the nuts and chocolate. They’re great before CrossFit*, as a snack, with coffee for breakfast, as a little dessert. Okay, basically I like them all the time.
*I ate one as I headed out the door to Top Tier CrossFit earlier this week – here’s my post about what I eat before each workout, depending on the workout.
I wrapped mine in plastic wrap so I could throw them in my gym and work bags easily, but you could also just stack them in a tupperware. These will be fine at room temperature but I recommend storing them in the fridge for a slightly firmer texture, which I prefer.
You could also form these into balls, but I kind of prefer the bar format for some reason. And because they’re just all cute in little square shapes wrapped in saran wrap.
Mocha Cherry & Chocolate Chunk Energy Bars
- 20 medjool dates + 5 extra (pits removed)
- 1/3 cup unsalted almonds (I used dry roasted) + 2 T extra
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used Vega Sport Chocolate Protein Powder)
- 1 packet Starbucks VIA® Instant Coffee
- 1/4 cup very hot water
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2/3 cup dried cherries (unsweetened)
- 2/3 cups dark chocolate chunks (I used Trader Joe’s)
- In a large food processor, combine the dates and 1/3 cup of the almonds until combined. Don’t blend it all the way to a paste. It should still look chunky.
- Add the almond butter, oats, protein powder, instant coffee, and pulse until combined. It should start to look like a dry batter. Be careful not to over mix – you should still see pieces of oats and nuts.
- Add the hot water, coconut oil and vanilla extract and pulse again.
- Add the dried cherries, the 5 extra dates, and the extra 2 tablespoons almonds. Pulse until combined and you still have fairly large chunks of the cherries, dates, and almonds. This helps give it a good texture – a little chewiness!
- Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Dump your batter on the parchment paper and using your hands, press out into a large rectangle(ish) shape. It should be about 1/4″ thick.
- You can mark out your cuts now while it’s still a little soft, but don’t cut all the way through. I made them small because I can’t stomach much with my pre-workout fuel and because I like a small afternoon snack, but you could certainly cut these into longer bars, more like Larabars.
- Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut into bars and try not to eat all of them immediately.
I used my dough scraper to cut them into squares.