DIY Pumpkin Walnut Raw Vegan Power Bars

Raw vegan power bars

If you’re learning how to transition to a healthier lifestyle, one of the easiest steps you can take is to learn how to make simple snacks yourself. Planning ahead is a key factor of success on this path. If hunger strikes and you don’t have a healthy snack on you, it’s easy to find yourself reaching for unhealthy junk foods (and even the supposed “healthy” snacks) out there, full of refined, processed ingredients that keep people struggling with their weight. Most mainstream granola bars have loads of refined sugars, excess sodium and hidden soy, corn and wheat ingredients. It’s easy to make these snacks yourself, all it takes is a little practice, a little planning and some willingness to take your health back into your own hands. When you make your own snacks and meals, you have control over the quality of ingredients you use and can make better and fresher foods than available anywhere else.

Are you ready!? This is what you need to get started…

Raw Kitchen Essentials

For this easy to make raw vegan power bar recipe, you’ll need a food processor and a dehydrator. I use and recommend the 14-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, but if this is too big to suite your needs and you’re looking for something smaller, consider the 7-cup Cuisinart Food Processor, it’s a smaller and more affordable model. As for dehydrators, if you don’t yet have one, I recommend the 9-tray Excalibur – I’ve had mine for years and it’s still working great.  Owning a good quality food processor and dehydrator are two of the top 4 raw food kitchen tools I recommend stocking your kitchen with.

Easy Recipe for DIY Raw Vegan Power Bars

Plan ahead of time: I recommend soaking your nuts and seeds before using them. In most cases, soaking several hours (3-5 hours) before using them is sufficient. This requires a little bit of planning. If you want to make these raw power bars in the morning, simply soak whatever nuts and seeds you would like to use the evening before. If you decide to make them in the afternoon or evening, remind yourself to soak them in the morning to give them enough time to start to sprout.

  • Soak 1 cup of organic pumpkin seeds
  • Soak 1 cup of organic walnuts
  • Soak at least 3 hours ahead of time. After soaking, rinse well.

Set aside 1/2 cup of whole pumpkin seeds.

In a food processor blend:

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup of pitted dates

Process until you can squeeze the mix between your fingers and it sticks together easily. This takes a little bit of practice to find that perfect consistency, and is also a matter of personal taste, in terms of how smooth or how chunky you want your power bars to be. But it does need to be blended enough so that the dates bind with the nuts and seeds.

Place dates, pumpkin seeds and walnuts in a bowl and mix the following ingredients in by hand:

  • 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

You can add whatever spices you like including cinnamon, cardamon or any superfoods like cacao powder, cacao nibs or maca powder. You may want to add additional natural sweeteners like mesquite or stevia if you like. (Remember that with stevia, less is more! A little bit of stevia goes a long way, and I recommend using organic, whole leaf stevia powder.)

In this recipe I added a tablespoon of this amazing coconut extract that I absolutely love as well as a 2 tablespoons of chunky coconut butter, but a sprinkle of organic coconut shreds would work just fine.

Mix all raw ingredients thoroughly by hand and spread about a quarter inch thick on a dehydrator tray.

I used a Teflex sheet initially to spread my raw power bars onto, so that I could press down on the batter without pushing it through the small holes on the excalibur tray. I made one big square and then flipped it off of the teflex sheet and onto the dehydrator tray, so that it will dry faster.

Place in the dehydrator and turn it on high for the first hour, then turn it down to about 110 degrees and take the raw power bars as far as you like. It will take at least 6-8 hours to get fairly dry. Just keep in mind that if you don’t dry them all the way through, to keep them in the fridge and remember that they will have a shelf life of about 8-12 days, depending on how much moisture you left in the bars. Once you sprout nuts and seeds, they do have a shelf life, because they are now alive! You can also freeze extra bars if you won’t be able to eat all of them, making them a convenient and healthy snack food for the family.

Please post below if you have any questions at all!

Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii!

Laura Dawn, Author of Mindful Eating for Dummies as well as Unhooked: A Holistic Approach to Ending Your Struggle with Food.

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