Saturday, March 16, 2013

Almond-Date-Chocolate Chip Squares

almond date chocolate chip squares with lucuma and maca powders

This is a quick delicious treat full of healthy ingredients. Some of the ingredients you may not be familiar with such as maca and lucuma powder. Maca is a Peruvian superfood made from raw maca roots, which are gently dried and milled. Navitas Products says "mx into smoothies, baked goods, or cereal; may boost the libido, treat menopause symptoms, and promote hormonal balance for men and women." Lucuma has a sweet, maple flavor and is made from the lucuma fruit. It is an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and contains especially high concentrations of beta carotene, niacin, and iron. Neither product is inexpensive but a bag of it will last a long time and is also delicious to use in smoothies and baked goods.

I got this recipe from LisasProjectVegan and quartered it. Here is the full size recipe; I am not sure how many it makes but my version made about 9 squares. What I really like about Lisa's recipes is the fact most are very quick to make. She cooks all but two meals per week and spends less than 30 minutes making each meal. If you'd like to learn more about how Lisa does it, here is a short video interview. (If you're on a mac you may need to watch it with Safari; it didn't want to work with my version of Firefox.)

You may be tempted to leave out the maca and lucuma since the recipe uses only a small amount of each but don't. Each powder adds a subtle taste profile that I personally found out of this world!

Almond-Date-Chocolate Chip Squares
1/2 cup raw almonds
4 pitted Medjool dates
1-1/2 tsp water
1/2 teaspoon maca powder
1/4 teaspoon lucuma powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 TB cup mini vegan chocolate chips

Directions
Pulse almonds in a mini prep until roughly chopped. Take out half and reserve in a mixing bowl. Chop the dates and add them into the processor along with the water, powders and salt. Process until completely together. Turn out into the mixing bowl with the chopped almonds and add the chocolate chips. Mix well and press into a small pan or container. Chill for an hour and then cut into squares.  Makes about 9 squares.

Recipe Variation
Leave out the 1/8 teaspoon salt and instead sprinkle some coarsely ground red Himalayan salt over the top.



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