Back-to-School Black Bean & Chocolate Nut Bars
Makes 12-14 Bars
My kids are one week into being back at school, and whilst I certainly miss the giggles in the house and cuddles on tap; the thing I miss the most about the summer ending is the slow-ness of it all. No rushing about, no barking orders at the kids, no hustling and cajoling them out of the house by 7.45am! Living at a more relaxed pace and soaking up all the things that summertime had to offer was absolute bliss. I will however, most definitely not miss the veil of pink glitter on each and every surface, the toilet that never ever gets flushed nor the constant requests for snacks, snacks and more snacks! Ahhh to have a peaceful coffee! Or to be able to go the toilet alone! It’s the simple pleasures September brings!
But with school and routines all kicking off, so do my kids ravenous appetite after school. Most days they can’t even wait until they actually get IN the car before shovelling food in their mouths – oh no! It needs to be handed to them at the school gates the very second I pick them up! And these bars are a total after-school god send! A big batch of them can be made in under 10 minutes, and is as easy as chucking everything in the blender. I keep them individually wrapped in the freezer ready to pop out on my way to collect them from school. But don’t be fooled – these are not just great all round snacks for the kids – no, they are waaaay too delicious to just be wasted on children! They are high in plant-based protein and have absolutely no added sugar apart from a little drizzle of melted chocolate on the top (which is optional of course, but seriously – who can resist?!). They are naturally sweetened with dried fruit, which actually counts towards your five-a-day. Please don’t be put off by the fact that there are black beans in there – I promise you that you absolutely cannot taste even the slightest hint of bean-i-ness!
One slice provides 204 calories, 5g of plant-based protein and 3g of fibre.
· If there is a nut allergy, then use a combination of different seeds instead.
· If you don’t have any dried apricots, you can use Medjool dates or dried figs instead too, but the figs are slightly less sweet.
· 170g Black Beans
· 195g Dried Apricots (Unsulphured)
· 60g Coconut Oil
· 25g Chocolate Protein Powder (I used ‘That Protein’ Brown Rice Protein With Cacao)
· 100g Jumbo Porridge Oats
· 130-140g Mixed Nuts and/or Seeds
· Optional – 1 tsp Superfood Powder like Baobab, Lucuma or Maca
· Optional – Some dark chocolate to drizzle on top
I used the following:
· 45g Almonds
· 45g Walnuts
· 45g Hazelnuts
· Chop all of the nuts.
· Put the black beans, dried apricots, oats, protein powder and coconut oil in a high speed blender and blitz until fully combined.
· Transfer to a large bowl and add the chopped nuts so that you keep the chunky texture. Use your hands to fully incorporate the nuts with the chocolate-y paste.
· Line a tray with parchment paper and flatten the mixture onto it using your hands, so that it is approximately 2cm thick.
· Pop it into the fridge for half an hour or so to harden enough so that you can cut it into bars.
· Melt the dark chocolate in 20 second increments in the microwave, being careful not to burn it.
· Once melted, drizzle some over the chilled bars.
· Either keep in the fridge for several days in an airtight container, or wrap individually in parchment paper and pop it in the freezer.
TIP! If the dried fruit you are using is too dry and not moist or sticky, then simply soak them in some boiling water for 5 minutes, drain the water and then pop the stickier fruit in the blender.
Calories – 204
Protein – 5g
Fat – 12g
Carbohydrates – 17g
Fibre – 3g
Sugar – 8g