Recipes from Rose’s Kitchen

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One of my favourite pastimes is reading. The saying “so many books to read, so little time” is so true. I have a stack on my desk, another one on my bedside table and then there is the coffee table. One of my favourite authors is Thomas King and the series ‘A Dreadful Water Mystery,’ six books in total. From one of his books I wrote out this passage and posted it because it is so true: “Processed food—no wonder we are obese. Sugar, fat, salt, unpronounceable chemicals. The ready-to-eat food industry was the new cartel, its CEOs the new drug dealers.”

How true. Try the following bar recipe—no sugar just bananas and dates for natural sweetening!

Cacao, Banana, Date and Cashew Bars

This recipe calls for cacao powder. The difference between cacao and cocoa is that cocoa is processed at a much higher temperature (and often packaged cocoa contains added sugar and dairy) and cacao powder is made from fermented beans that have not been roasted. If you are using cacao powder you will notice a slight tang in the bars. I actually followed the recipe without any substitutions but as I always say you can substitute. A different nut will work out just fine.

I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13-inch pan. They freeze well.

1/3 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 cup firmly packed chopped pitted fresh dates

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 1/2 cup unsalted cashews

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup mashed banana (about three bananas)

Unsweetened coconut flakes for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8 x 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Place all the ingredients except for the coconut flakes in a food processor and process until smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, spread evenly and then sprinkle with coconut. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until firm to touch.

Cool in the pan before slicing into bars. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.