Last weekend, I had an incredible experience. Seriously incredible. I met a friend. Not so incredible? Well, wait until you hear the back story on this one.
18 years ago, many evenings after I would tuck my little girls into bed, I would get on the computer and head to a chat room on CompuServe. Does anyone remember CompuServe? It was one of the first on-line services that offered more than just a black and orange DOS screen. This was well before AOL. It was a new frontier and so fun to be able to chat “on-line” with other folks.
I made two friends in those early days. One, a woman from England, the other a hockey mom from Minnesota. We had many chats late at night and built an on-line friendship. Somehow the hockey mom dropped off but my friend from England and I carried on. In fact, we became quite close. As AOL hit the scene, we could actually have a quick person to person chat when ever we were on-line. Remember, this was completely new at that time. And for the last 18 years, we have kept in touch. Raising my girls, boyfriends, marriage, the birth of her boys and life event after life event were all shared. She moved to the states years ago and I was invited to her wedding but couldn’t make it across the country to attend.
As circumstance would have it, the stars aligned last weekend and her husband was coming to San Francisco for a conference. “Come and stay with us!” I excitedly typed out. And somehow, it all worked out.
I can’t tell you how surreal it is to meet someone face to face that you have only spoken to once (years ago) but who’s life you know so much about. Someone who you have shared joy and heart break with, someone who you respect and yes, love. How could you not after all those years? I think we both had extreme moments of trying to wrap our heads around everything amongst just simply having a great time. She is wickedly funny, stunningly creative and simply a gas to be around. It really was incredible.
We spent the day in the city (San Francisco) shopping, eating, running around and we even made a little movie. At one point, we found ourselves at the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market where I scored a huge bag of truly raw almonds. Those almonds, inspired these raw granola-type bars. That and the sweet friendship that now has a beautiful face.
They bars are full of goodies like almond butter, chia seeds, raw oats and pumpkin seeds. With the added cacao, these little bars will give you a ton of nutrients, fiber and energy!
Raw Cacao Dried Cherry Granola Bars
- 1 cup almond butter (recipe here: Almond Butter)
- 6 dates, softened and chopped
- 1/4 cup water (I used the soaking water from the dates)
- 1/4 cup cacao
- 1 teaspoon cinamon
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice
- 2 cups raw flaked oats
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
- pinch Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup coconut crystals (raw coconut sugar)
1. In food processor, pulse together almond butter, dates, date water, cacao, cinnamon and maple syrup. Do not over-mix. Remove to bowl.
2. Stir in oats, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, dried cherries and salt. This can get quite sticky and you might need to use your hands.
3. Spread half of the topping mix in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Press the oat mixture on top of the topping mix. Top with more topping mix and press in (so the bottom and the top is covered).
4. Remove from pan and cut into squares or bars (as seen in photo).