uvegottatrythis cookbook: Power Hungry® by Camilla V. Saulsbury!

Power Hungry®: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook by Camilla V. Salsbury is an awesome source for gluten-free, vegan, sans refined sugar treats. What, that doesn’t sound good to you?! Brownies MUST contain butter, eggs, sugar and flour to taste good. There is a time and place for traditional brownies (Thursday night. In my ice cream.) but there are times when you want the TASTE of a brownie without the GUILT of a brownie! And I promise, this is a great alternative.

I’ve made four of Camilla’s “Lucy Bars” (compare to Lärabar®); Peanut Cookie Dough, Pecan Pie, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and these Dark Chocolate Brownie Bars. We’ve enjoyed them all!

1 cup packed pitted, soft dates**
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
3 TBSP bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2 TBSP unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt (optional)

Soak dates in a bowl of warm water, 5-10 minutes. If your dates are super-soft you can skip this step.

While dates soak, place almonds, pecans, chocolate chips and cocoa powder in food processor. Process until finely chopped but not a paste.

Drain dates, pat dry and add to nut mixture. Add salt, if using. Process, using on/off pulses, until the mixture begins to stick together and clump on the sides of the bowl.

Now form the mixture into any size or shape you like!

For a bar: Line a 9×5 (or 8-1/2 x 4-1/2) loaf pan with plastic wrap, parchment, or, my favorite, wax paper. Transfer mixture into prepared pan and use another piece of – whatever you’re using – to spread and flatten the mixture evenly. Leave them covered and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For balls: I used my small cookie scoop and placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate, I didn’t bother to cover, for 30 minutes.

For storage: Wrap individually in plastic wrap, place individually in snack size zip top bags, or store in one larger bag. Camilla writes that the bars will last 3 days at room temp, 3 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. I’ve kept mine in the fridge.

**Dates are not on my regular grocery list.  I figured I’d find them with the raisins and I did – at $8 a pound, not pitted!!  At my Giant there was only the one kind…or so I thought.  Last night, while buying bananas, I noticed that under the banana display they have a different type of date, pitted and only $4 for 10 ounces.

Check out Camilla’s blog, Power Hungry®, for more great recipes!