While “better-for-you” energy bars are part of an on-the-go lifestyle, most are hiding a hefty (and expensive) amount of sugar, oil, and calories. It is no surprise that obesity rates have increased in a society when meals are a rare occurrence in a busy schedule.
The healthiest nutrition bars do not contain added sugar and are full of ingredients that provide slow sustaining fuel, with whole foods such as nuts, seeds and fruits. A homemade version is even healthier than almost any energy bar that you can buy in a store, and is incredibly simple to throw together, for a fraction of the cost.
Lemon “energy” treats are primarily dates, sesame seeds, and almonds, and are generously flavored with fresh lemon juice, that add a bit of zing to compliment a blanket of snowy white unsweetened coconut. The later gives this energy treat its pronounced taste that pairs well with the floral-scented lemon.
The inside of this lemony treat is soft and slightly sweet, thanks to the flecks of creamy dates. Dates not only replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly, but also contain the right amount of sugar to bring glucose levels up. It is no wonder that Muslims break their daylong Ramadan fast with this nourishing fruit.
The very best energy boost ultimately comes from healthy living. People who eat real foods, (not processed) drink ample water, and exercise daily will have plenty of energy, the natural way.
Lemon “Energy” Treats
Lemon “energy” treats come from a Whole Foods Recipe that I tweaked, just slightly. I substituted toasted almonds for walnuts, and then added a couple of tablespoons of water to the mixture, using a blender to purée it, instead of a food processor. A small-sized ice cream scoop is handy to portion these energy treats into even 2 “ round shapes. Oh, and one more thing, these raw energy delights are gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Adapted from Whole Foods
1 cup chopped pitted dates, (I use Medjool dates)
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon, zest
1-2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
Place dates, almonds, sesame seeds, lemon juice, zest and water in a food processor or blender and mix until creamy. If using a blender place 1/2 of the mixture into the blender and mix until creamy and repeat with the other half. The mixture will be slightly sticky.
Using a small ice cream scoop, drop mixture in coconut and roll into a ball shape. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 2 dozen 2” sized balls.