Raise your hand if you’re still packing some of that Christmas/New year holidays extra weight. Now, raise your hand if you added Easter weight to that. I know I personally have. Vacations and weight loss plans simply don’t go together. Never have, never will.
You never really know how out of shape you are until you try to do that 40 minute full body workout, the one which used to be like a walk in the park, and you find yourself, 10 minute through it, lying face down on the ground, begging for a bit of water (speaking from personal experience).
But this time, I’m determined on making it happen, so my sister and I signed up for a Zumba class. It was the first time I do it, and it was absolutely amazing, you get to workout your whole body without really feeling that you’re doing much effort, and it’s unbelievably fun because you get to shake that booty and dance around. Needless to say, after my body cooled down, the soreness appeared. But again, DETERMINATION is the key word here.
In an attempt to get this body makeover, a slight change in my eating habits is a must. So I’m kind of, sort of, not 100% trying to stay away from refined and added sugar. Now I know what you’re thinking, this is a dessert blog and I’m not exactly a vegan or following a gluten free diet. But hear me out for a bit.
Energy bars. Not the ones you buy which can drill a hole in your wallet. But the homemade ones. They are healthy, quick (all it takes is a quick spin in the food processor) and they’re no-bake. You can just pack your homemade creations — made of an endless variety of nuts, seeds, fruit, and grains — in a Ziploc bag for a portable breakfast or mid-morning snack. I packed mine individually in plastic wrap and stored them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
The ones I tried are perfect if you get schizophrenic cravings like mine. (I tend to crave sweet, salty, and sour all at the same time). Dates and nuts make up the base of this bar, while cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut and vanilla add decadence (without all the guilt). If you have trouble finding moist, soft dates (oftentimes they’re pretty dry), soak them overnight in water before tossing in the food processer. And don’t forget to remove the pits if they’re still in there!
Nutritional analysis based on an estimated calculation:
No Cholesterol, Very low in Sodium, and high in dietary fibers.
Serving size: 25grs. Calories: 81, Total Fat: 2.9 grs, Total Carbs: 14.3 grs, Protein: 1.5 grs
Chocolate and Nuts Larabars
Yields: One 18cmx18cm brownie pan
- 400 grams pitted dates
- 35 grams raw almonds (I used the regular one with skin)
- 25 grams walnuts
- 35 grams raw cashews
- 50 grams shredded unsweetened coconut
- 25 grams unsweetened coco powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract (optional)
- 2 Tbsp cold water
- After pitting the dates, cut them up into small pieces, so it will be easier to work with when put in the food processor (or you can buy those already pitted dates that are made paste-like)
- In a food processor add the dates and pulse until finely chopped and they start to form a ball.
- Add the almond and nuts and pulse few more times until the nuts are chopped.
- Add the cocoa powder and coconut and pulse until the texture becomes coarse.
- Add the extracts, and a little water at a time until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency.
- Scrape the dough mixture into the lined pan, press evenly with a rubber spatula, and chill for about an hour before serving.
Bon Appetit 🙂 … And happy workout!