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Apricot Vanilla Cashew Bars

The bonus to working in wellness is the opportunity to meet so many inspiring and supportive women.  It’s a blessing to be surrounded by women who lift me up and motivate me, like Elise Museles, a former attorney turned certified eating psychology and nutrition expert.  Elise created Kale & Chocolate to help thousands of women rewrite their food stories and we clicked from the moment we met!

This month Elise released her first book,  Whole Food Energyand has graciously allowed me a sneak peak and a recipe share with you.  She’s sharing her recipe for Apricot Vanilla Cashew bars.  When you need something to carry you over from the office to your evening workout and the meetings in between, reach for these these grain-free & delicious bars. A mixture of sweet dates, crunchy cashews, and smooth nut butter makes the perfect base with added nutrients and flavor from the apricots and vanilla (and your kids will love them too!).

*Yield: 8 bars

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews
1 cup unsulphered dried apricots
¼ cup pitted Medjool dates
1 T. cashew butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
shredded coconut to top

Directions:

Line a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 12.5-cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.

Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, with some small chunks remaining. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut for topping, and pulse until the ingredients start to stick together. Do not process until smooth, as the texture helps the bars hold together.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan and use a sheet of parchment paper on top to press and flatten evenly using the palm of your hand. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top, then cover the pan with parchment paper. Place the covered bars in the refrigerator for 1 hour before slicing into 8 individual bars. Enjoy!

Excerpt from Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles. Courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series ©2016

See more at: http://kaleandchocolate.com/recipe/apricot-vanilla-cashew bars/#sthash.MmPSM4d6.dpuf

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