Sometimes when nixing gluten, sugar and dairy from your diet you can be a bit limited when it comes to sweet snacks. It isn’t like you can pick up a pack of granola bars at the grocery store. Luckily there are simple snack recipes that meet the needs of those with restricted diets that taste great and are really easy to put together.

One of those is a batch of orange and cacao bars with coconut. These bars are amazing! You have the taste of chocolate in the purest form possible which is then highlighted by that signature flavour and acidity from the orange and coconut to bring it all together. The only thing that adds to the excellence of these bars is the fact that they do not have to be cooked. Yes, this is an easy raw recipe. All you need is a little extra time for prep.

Ingredients

The Crust:

1 ½ cups pecans
1 cup dried figs
Zest or 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt

The Filling:

1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup almonds
5 Medjool dates, pits removed
Orange juice from figs
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips)

Directions

1. Remove stems from the dried figs.

2. Add figs to a bowl along with the fresh orange juice. Allow to soak for an hour.

3. In a separate bowl soak flaked coconut in water for an hour.

4. Add pecans and orange zest into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

5. Add soaked figs, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Reserve orange juice.

6. Process until everything comes together.

7. Press into a pan and refrigerate.

8. Make the filling by first draining the coconut flakes.

9. Place drained flakes, almonds, dates, orange juice and cacao nibs in a food processor.

10. Process until well mixed.

11. Pour over refrigerated crust and pat in an even layer.

12. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours to set.

13. Cut into bars and enjoy.

These bars make for a very tasty snack and can even be served for dessert. The result has that freshly baked aspect to it but required no cook time at all. There is a wonderful sweetness and richness to these bars without having to use any added sugar. Their flavour profile is so well balanced. They are sweet, tart, nutty, chocolatey and have great texture. These yummy bars also get better with time. They can be kept in the fridge for days.

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