Monday, 5 January 2015

Make Your Own Nakd Bars

January brings with it good intentions and a mass of healthy food and new exercise regimes. For the ultimate healthy snack, I love a Nakd bar. Delicious, healthy, full of fruit and energy - I love snacking on them at work with a cup of tea or grabbing one an hour before I go running. I used to fill up on cereal or fruit bars but it is so difficult to find any without a ridiculous amount of sugar in them. 

While they taste fantastic and help me on my way to my five a day, they tend to leave a big dent in my purse. Thankfully, with a bit of initiative and a food processor, I have learnt to make my own. A firm favourite of mine is the Cashew Cookie bars. Sweet and tasty, they are very filling and the cashew nuts are great for a protein fix for a little pre-gym energy. Thankfully, these are just about the easiest to make. Check out the recipe below and don't eat them all at once!

On the shopping list: 
-Medjool dates - these are the sticky type and you can grab them from Tesco.
-30g unsalted cashew nuts- Try your local health food shop or supermarket for a big bag.
-Optional- 2 small drops of vanilla essence- (I tend to leave this out but if you feel you need a sugar fix, this will make them taste even more like sweets.)

How to make your own:
-Whizz the cashew nuts in your food processor. You're looking to get them small enough to sprinkle but not so much that they disappear into dust!
-Then, pit the medjool dates and place them in a large bowl.
-Mix the cashew nuts with the dates and squish them together. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to get a good texture, or even better- use your hands. The heat will make the mixture sticky and it will mould together easily.
-Roll the mixture into 'bar' sized portions and wrap them in cling-film. Stick them in the fridge to solidify a little.
-Enjoy your home made treat at a fraction of the cost! Feel free to experiment, too. For something a little more indulgent, you could add chocolate chips to the mix, or coat the bars in desiccated coconut. Yum.