- (2 Tablespoons) Chia Seeds
- (8, large) Dates, pitted
- (1 Tablespoon) Honey
- (5 Tablespoons) Hot Water
- (1 Tablespoon) Vanilla Extract
- (1 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
- (1/2 cup) Collagen Hydrolysate
- (1/2 cup) Cocoa Powder
- (1 cup) Sunflower Seeds
- (1/2 cup) Raw Cashews
- (1/2 cup) Raw Almonds
- (1.5 cups) Shredded Coconut
- (1 oz) Dark chocolate (for melting on top)
- (1/2 teaspoon) Coconut Oil
- Flaked Salt
Articles on the benefits of consuming collagen have been ascendant recently, and probably for good reason. What we know of ancestral eating suggests that people consumed more of every animal than we typically do today. That means that in addition to lean meat people ate more of the other animal parts too - organ meat, connective tissue, cartilage, fat. Now if this doesn’t have you salivating, then maybe there’s another way for you to balance your lean meat intake and increase your sense of well being.* Enter Collagen Hydrolysate. Unlike gelatin, collagen hydrolysate (or collagen peptides as some brands label them) dissolve in water and can be heated without congealing. I order Pasture Raised ‘Great Lakes’ Collagen Hydrolysate from Thrive Market online, but you can find it on Amazon and from the company directly. It’s versatile - you can put it in nearly anything from tea to smoothies - but I prefer to stuff it in these bars. These are what you want an ‘energy bar’ from the store to taste like. The flavor is bright, they are firm enough for a kid to handle easily but the texture is not dry, and best of all, they register as a real treat even though they contain no refined sugar. BONUS - this recipe is compatible with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), so go share them widely...if you can. Garth and Ellis could eat an entire batch of these in three sittings.
* If you’d like to know more about collagen, here’s a well written synopsis: https://www.marksdailyapple.co...
In a small bowl place chia seeds, dates, honey, vanilla, salt and hot water. Let the mixture sit (the chia seeds will absorb water and expand and the dates will soften) as you gather the other ingredients (as little as 15 minutes or as much as all day).
Measure out the sunflower seeds, almonds, and cashews and place in your food processor. Pulse the mixture until it looks fairly uniform (you want it ground finely, but you also want the nuts to offer some texture). Remove from the food processor and place in a large bowl.
Empty the small bowl of wet ingredients (dates, etc) into the food processor and grind it into a paste. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients.
Add the collagen hydrolysate and the cocoa powder to the food processor. Let the machine run until they are well combined.
Empty the very thick cocoa/collagen/date paste into the large bowl of chopped nuts and seeds. It will take some strength to incorporate the paste evenly throughout the dry ingredients. Add the shredded coconut and mix thoroughly.
Empty the contents of the bowl onto a large sheet of parchment paper and press down on the top and sides to form a rough rectangle. Wrap the edges of the parchment paper up and around the rectangle and smash a cutting board (or cherry board for that matter) on top of it repeatedly until you have a compressed and solid mass. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to harden.
Cut into any portion size you desire and spoon some melted dark chocolate* over the top of each section (optional). Sprinkle the bars with some flaked salt. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate solidifies. Remove from the refrigerator and place the finished bars into a sealed container. Store in the refridgerator.
* Optional Dark Chocolate Coating
Put an inch of water in a small saucepan and place on the stovetop over medium heat. Place a stainless steel bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and add 1 oz dark chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil. Stir and remove from heat when melted. Spoon and spread the chocolate over the cut bars. Sprinkle with flaked salt.