I have been fixated on omega 3′s (more on that in a minute). I have also been fixated on creating a new dessert bar recipe (I think you can understand that one). Two fixations came together and these tasty raw walnut cacao bars were born.
First, lets talk omega 3′s. Why the fixation, you ask? Well, they are critical for brain and heart health, fight inflammation, and reduce your risk of depression amongst other things. Our bodies don’t make them, we need them and vegan diets tend to be heavy on omega 6 and lacking in the 3′s. In fact, an omega 3 deficiency is prevalent in our diets today because of how our food is processed and the dietary choices we make.
One of the first things we think of for Omega 3′s is fish and fish oil. Interestingly enough, with fish being farmed and fed diets of grain instead of their traditional diet of plants and algae, the levels of omega 3 have been seriously declining. But since a raw, vegan diet doesn’t include fish, where else can you get your omega 3′s? Great sources are flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts! It is good to note that greens also contain higher levels of omega 3′s so drink your green drinks!
With it’s own antioxidant properties, cacao (chocolate) makes a great pairing with walnuts. I made a quick raw cashew crust (yes you can find raw cashews here), a lovely walnut filling and topped the whole thing off with a tasty, easy cacao ganache. Delicious and filling, these bars shout bakery case…no one will believe they are a healthy raw snack!
For the crust, I used raw cashews from Navitas Naturals. They use a special process to keep the extraction under low heat so they are truly raw. You can find them here: Raw Cashews .
To get a fine flour, I used the dry container for my Vitamix.
To get the finest flour, process the cashews in batches, sift and reprocess the left over chunks with the next batch. You will get a beautiful, fine cashew flour that will mimic a real pastry crust.
Raw Walnut Cacao Dreamy Bars
(makes 64 1-inch bars)
- 1 cup cashews
- 3 tablespoons cacao
- 1 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
- 2/3 cup dried coconut, unsweetened
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (not raw but used in many raw recipes)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cacao
- 1/4 cup agave (or other liquid sweetener)
- 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted