Saturday, 7 March 2015

No Bake Chocolate Chews

These chocolate chews taste a whole lot like a peanut butter cup, and the really good news is, they are a whole lot healthier. They are perfect for snack time and for the lunch box. They are great to have on hand when you have a craving for something sweet.


2 cups pitted dates
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup nut butter (or natural peanut butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 pinch salt

Toss everything into a food processor and process until the mixture starts to go smooth and clump into a ball. The dates will be all chopped up but you'll still have bits of nut. Turn the mixture out into an 8 or 9 inch square dish lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the dish. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove the bars from the pan and cut into pieces using a sharp knife. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer--they taste great cold or frozen!

The dates provide the all natural sweetener in these treats, and you will never know that you are eating dates once they are all mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients, and are a very good source of dietary potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%; the remainder consists of protein and fiber.

In a new study, researchers from Virginia Tech’s Biochemistry Department ranked 12 of the most popular sweeteners according to their antioxidant content with dates being the number one sweetener in the antioxidant department.

Here’s the whole list of sweeteners they tested from best to worst for antioxidant power:

1. Date sugar
2. Blackstrap molasses
3. Dark brown sugar
4. Light brown sugar
5. Raw cane sugar
6. Turbinado sugar
7. Honey
8. Maple syrup
9. Refined white sugar
10. Corn syrup
11. Agave nectar
12. Brown rice syrup

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