Spring is playing with us these days, and temperatures seem to simply go crazy with major differences from one day to another. I didn’t have much time to enjoy the trees blooming, because in a few days the temperature dropped and the wind blew away all the petals. When I was a child, trees were blooming in April, and spring was slowly passing. Today, I don’t know if tomorrow is going to be winter or summer. Climate change is not only a cool way to spice up your Oscar speech, it’s something our bodies have to endure every day, challenging their limits and forcing them to adapt.
I have a balanced and varied diet, but the last few weeks I found myself lacking energy in the afternoon for no apparent reason. Neither my green tea nor my boyfriend’s coffee brew managed to increase my energy, so I had to think of alternatives and turned to minerals and natural sugar. The raw chocolate and nuts always seem to have an energy-boosting effect, and they taste delicious together.
After some experiments, I discovered my favorite combination of flavors, and this would be coconut-chocolate-nut butter. The chewy texture with a velvety touch from the coconut, the bitter-earthy taste of tahini, the delicate flavor of almond butter, the decadence of chocolate, the sweetness of honey—all of these turned a necessary snack into a real afternoon treat. I also added hemp for extra protein and a nice texture.
Nuts are loaded with healthy fats and calories that are burned slowly for our body to benefit from a slow-released energy to last until dinner. I particularly love almonds because of their combination of antioxidant nutrients (flavonoids) and vitamin E, with a great impact on enhancing the oxidative resistance of LDL cholesterol, with heart-healthy benefits. The manganese, copper and riboflavin in almonds provide help with the energy production within our cells.
The two trace minerals activate the superoxide dismutase enzyme, with a key role in neutralizing the free radicals within our cells’ mitochondria and keeping the energy flow in balance. Riboflavin turns on the flavoprotein enzymes, that stimulate the oxygen-based energy production within our cells.
I love raw cacao for its antioxidant load and minerals, especially magnesium that helps my energy rise in the afternoon. But of course, dipping these bites in chocolate is a nourishing way to make them more eye-catching!
Protein Power Chocolate Cashew Bars
- 1 &1/2 cup soaked cashew nuts drained
- 1/4 cup almond flakes
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut flakes
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tsp tahini
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 2 tsp organic raw honey replace with 2 tsp agave nectar for the vegan version
- A pinch sea salt
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Add the cashew, almond flakes, oats and coconut flakes into the food processor and mix to obtain a thick crumble.
- Add the almond butter, tahini, honey/agave nectar and coconut oil, and pulse to obtain a sticky mixture.
- Line a square pan with parchment paper and evenly spread the mixture inside to form a 1/2 inch layer.
- Sprinkle with hemp hearts, then press with your fingers to stick them to the mixture.
- Cover with plastic foil and freeze for at least one hour.
- Melt the chocolate chips into a small sauce pan over low heat and set aside to cool.
- Remove the fudge from the freezer, cut into equal bars and dip them into melted chocolate (it will freeze instantly).
- Serve immediately or keep in the freezer.