May 04, 2013
Homemade Chunks of Energy
Oh man! These chunks have so much flavor they blew us away. I have purchased many-a-chunk in the health food stores and they aren’t cheap. So I thought I’d try my hand at making them myself. Hooray! Okay, I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy… for me or my workhorse of a food processor. It takes patience to be able to get all the ingredients to combine properly as the mixture is so thick and sticky. So be careful not to burn out your food processor! Let it rest every so often, stirring in between pulses so it doesn’t overheat.
The best part about these little guys is that you can customize them to your own taste. Put whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruits you want in them. Be bold. Experiment! They are also much more moist than the ones in the bulk bins. That’s good and bad. Good because they’re delicious! Bad because you will need to keep them refrigerated. It’s my first go at these so I don’t know what will happen after they spend several days in the fridge… if they last that long! They may dry out more and be able to stay out at room temp. We’ll see. But for now, they’re happily sitting in my fridge.
** UPDATE! After just a couple of days in the fridge, they dried out and were much easier to handle. I put them in ziplock bags in the ‘treat drawer” and they were just fine without refrigeration.
I made two different flavors. One is chocolate and the other… I’m not sure what to call it! It has vanilla and it also has coconut and both flavors are detectable. So I think I’m just going to call it a white chunk.
~ for the chocolate chunks
- 15 medjool dates, pits removed
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup raw pecans
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, plus a little more for garnishing the tops
- ¼ cup goji berries
- ¼ cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 2 TBS raw chia seeds
- 2 TBS flax seeds
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
~ for the white chunks
- ½ cup raw cashew butter
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup golden or Hunza raisins
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 TBS golden flax seeds
- 2 TBS raw sesame seeds
- 2 TBS maple syrup (or ¼ cup raw honey if you want to keep it raw)
- 1 TBS pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes for garnishing the tops
- For each flavor, place all ingredients, except the sunflower seeds, into a food processor and pulse until combined. Don’t over process! You want to still be able to see the chunky goodness of the different ingredients. As mentioned, you will need to stir a bit by hand in the food processor. Use a strong spoon. A wooden one will do. The mixture is so thick that the processor will need your help! Once you have a pretty even consistency, add the sunflower seeds last and either stir or pulse just a little so that they’re combined. Adding them last ensures that you will be able to see them; makes for an appealing presentation 🙂
- Line a 7×11″ casserole dish with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over both sides, about 6 inches on each side (you will need 2 casserole dishes if you’re crazy like me and decide to make both flavors at the same time).
- Scoop the mixture into the dish.
- Bring the parchment paper up over the top and press down firmly, into one even layer. If you have a small book or something else that is sturdy and flat you can use it to push the mixture down so you get the top really even and smooth.
- Finally, sprinkle the toppings on—for the chocolate use sunflower seeds; for the white use flaked coconut—and press down firmly once again.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, overnight is better, before you try to slice them.
- When they’re good and cold, remove the whole thing from the casserole dish, lifting it out with the parchment paper.
- Slice into chunks the size of your choosing with a very sharp, non-serrated knife.
Each batch makes about 28 of each flavor, depending on your chunk size. I cut mine into approximately 1″ squares. Enjoy!
SMOOTHIE WEEK STARTS TOMORROW!!!