Mint Chocolate Power Bars

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By placing two pillows under my left elbow, I can hold sleeping baby Gabriel with one arm and type this text on the laptop that is balancing on my right leg with the other hand. It’s brilliant! I can even reach that bowl of soaked oats with raisins, apple and crunchy peanut butter that stands there on the sofa table as a night snack. Okay, maybe not brilliant. This balancing act is pretty tricky actually. And I suspect that my left arm will start to go numb soon. I should probably focus on my son and just wait for Luise to get back from the shower. But I did promise 192 people on instagram that I would post this recipe today. And I’ve already spent an hour tucking the other two kids to bed with a night story that was so boring that I fell asleep 14 times, so I feel like I really need to do this now or I’ll be starting the year by breaking a promise.

Therefore I am currently writing this post one-handed – sitting in a patchwork plaided sofa in a cute little airbnb apartment in Copenhagen that we’re renting for a few days – chewing on a peanut butter covered apple with a chubby little cherub snoring in my other hand. And Luise thinks I’m bad at multitasking. Ha!

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Before we left, I prepared a batch of power bars for the car-ride down. When they don’t serve as car snacks, we use them as quick energy fuel at home whenever we or the kids are in need of a treat. A chocolate bar (or two) in my gym bag also makes a pretty compelling argument for dragging my tired daddy-of-three body to the gym. The bars rarely last long in our freezer.

Lately, I have been completely hooked on this chocolate and mint combo. Combining fresh mint flavour with rich chocolate always seemed weird to me, but all of a sudden I have changed my mind. It’s brilliant and for some reason extra perfect as workout fuel. This recipe is based on the Hemp Bars in our first book but a little simpler and fresher in flavour. We top them with cacao nibs which not only make them look great but also adds a nice crunch to their texture.

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I asked Isac to assist me when I made these but he was pretty useless. When asked to pit the dates, he placed the dates in his mouth and the stones in the food processor (which made the bars crunchier than intended). He also kept insisting that the cacao nibs were bombs that exploded on the bars, leaving giant craters after them. So if you think the bars look uneven, this little hooligan is to blame.

By the way, I’m not writing one-handed anymore. Halfway along this post, I spilled some oats on Gabriel’s head so he woke up. Luise is nursing him now (and most probably also piercing an imaginary voodoo doll with my face on it with a thousand needles). I am not saying that I spilled on him on purpose. But Luise did spend an awfully long time in the shower. And that spoon was too small to balance oats on anyway.

Yup that was it. First post of the year. Giant craters, crying babies, voodoo dolls and eating chocolate at the gym. And I’m only 44 minutes late for my deadline. Not a bad start.

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Mint Chocolate Power Bars
Makes approx. 18 bars
 

You can add a few tablespoons protein powder of choice (instead of the desiccated coconut) if you are making them as post-workout bars. Nuts can of course also be used instead of the seeds, if preferred.

150 g / 1 cup mixed pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, toasted if preferred
5 tbsp desiccated coconut, unsweetened

4 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp cacao powder
50 g / 1/2 cup rolled oats
2 pinches sea salt
4 tbsp virgin coconut oil
180 g soft fresh dates (roughly 16 dates / 1 packed cup), pitted
5 tbsp nut butter of choice (we love using a combination of tahini and cashew butter but peanut butter also works great)
a few drops peppermint oil (or 2-3 tsp dried mint leaves, crushed)

Topping
60 g / ½ cup raw cacao nibs

Line a 16 x 22 cm baking tin with parchment paper.
Add the seeds, coconut, chia seeds, cacao powder, oats and salt to a food processor and pulse on high speed until coarsely crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add coconut oil, dates, nut butter, mint (oil or dried leaves) to the food processor. Run on high speed until entirely smooth and sticky. Add the seed and cacao crumbles and pulse quickly until mixed together. Help out with a spatula in case the mixture isn’t combined. Taste and add more mint flavour or salt if needed, then pulse a few more times.
Transfer to the baking tin and, using the palm of your hand or the back of a spoon (coated in coconut oil), press the mixture down very firmly to create an even and compact bar (roughly 2 cm high). Scatter the cacao nibs on top and use a spatula to press them down slightly into the mixture.
Let set in the freezer for approx. 15-30 minutes before cutting into approx. 18 bars.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the freezer and they will keep for a few months. You can wrap them in baking paper to make them more portable. Thaw them ever so slightly before serving.

NB: For a nut-free alternative, replace the nut butter with a seed butter of choice.

78 Comments

  • Time to hit the kitchen and prepare this healthy and energy packed treat. It is always been a struggle of mine finding or making healthy bars right after strenuous hours spent in the gym. This one looks perfect as this really hypes you up, not only that, the ingredients doesn't contain any sugar. Thanks for sharing this. I hope you can also add more post that are into health, diet, and great food alternatives.
  • These caught my eye because they look like they actually stick together! I'm not a big mint fan, but I'm a HUGE tahini fan. Genius combination and just wanted to say thanks. :)
  • I love how simple and easy these are to put together!
  • I have been thinking about making my own power bars for a while, but I thought it will be quite difficult, this one doesn't sound to be too difficult. Thanks for sharing
  • Oooh chocolate and peppermint always feels light and fresh on the palate. This pleases me as then I can eat more that one bar because it doesn't feel heavy. Thank you for the scrummy recipe! -Hanne
  • AnonyMouse
    Made these and love the recipe. I couldn't get chia seeds so left them out, and used half walnuts, half sunflower seeds. I find the peanut butter taste too strong and might omit in the future to enjoy a more pure chocolate/mint flavour.
  • Amazing recipie , will surely try ! I am professional baker from India & I too make eggless / Eggfree Cakes & they are quite a hit . I think the world is changing towards healthy or should I say vegetarian options Plz do have a look at my Eggfree cakes which I am making . Thanks http://www.cakecentral.co.in/3d-cakes-4d-cakes-theme-designer-ca
  • Gustavo Woltmann
    Yummy, I'll be sure to make some, looks like a brilliant healthy snack idea.
  • Anna
    I just made these and they are too delicious, not sure how long they will last... :) I used half tahini and half homemade coconut butter that I had in the fridge and they turned out amazing. Love the fresh mint flavour and that they are heavy on seeds instead of nuts!
  • Wow, yummy chocolate....I got new item in new year. My child will be satisfied when they will get. That's why I am thinking that I will make it. Even I already see, you have also shared method and ingredients. For which making, it will help. So, thanks!
  • Allison
    I can't believe how DELICIOUS these are. I used a combo of cashews and peanuts instead of pumpkin seeds, and almond butter for the nut butter, and they're amazing. The peppermint oil is the key - they remind me of girl scout cookies!
  • I'll try to make this recipe, looks delicious!!! Thxxx
  • Oh yum! Thank you for this recipe and you made me laugh all the way. Isac sounds hilarious, you are very lucky. Looking forward to more!
  • Nadia
    I check your website many times daily more than I check my Facebook ! I literally live on your recipes, have your books and still can't get enough of it, THANK YOU ! My children and mostly my husband finished those yummy bars all in 2 days although I've tried to cut them even smaller than the recipe picture ! The only issue I had that they were too oily I have replaced the seeds with mixed nuts. Did I need to add less than 150 g nuts or cut on the nut-butter ? Thanks, Nadia
  • Loving this recipe, will be giving this one a go! Like a healthy peppermint slick, winning!
  • I like those, eating almost eeveryday..
  • helen
    brilliant!! recipe Looks good too ;-) !!
  • Great way of combining sweet and healthy. So, it is great for people who have sweet tooth and to boost their power!
  • Ella
    These are OUT OF THIS WORLD. So good. They are really filling and keep me going well into the afternoon if I grab one before work. I think the addition of the extra salt makes all the difference and takes the flavour up a notch. Thank you so much for this recipe!
  • So happy that you've added another power bar to your repertoire, I love your muesli bar (as does my mum and dad) so I'm sure something a little chocolatier will go down a treat!! Added to the list for when we need some energy:)
  • Perfect energy booster I must say!
  • Children will love this power bar. It does not only have chocolates but also nuts that can give them protein for nutrition.
  • Jana
    That is hilarious! I believe I have done some similar balancing acts with my baby, but without dropping food on her head! :) I made these bars right away- chocolate+mint is the best -and they turned out great! In stead of the rolled oats I used additional coconut and some hulled hemp seeds, and didn't have enough dates so I put in a few drops of stevia. They held together great and are deliciously chocolaty/minty. The little ones here love them too! Thanks a bunch!
  • This is the best post ever, David! Thanks for being so candid in your stories. Love the bars. Simple but substantial and delicious. The perfect trio.
  • Have been meaning to make these all week. Finally got the chance and they were just as delicious as I imagined. They remind me of thin mint girl scout cookies in the best possible way. Thanks for sharing!
  • Lucy
    OMG I died laughing when I was reading this. I've visualized the whole scene in my head. Things we do to multitask. Been there done that. Just recently I bought some bars that looks exactly like these. Of course yours are much more natural and I'm looking forward to trying my hand at it. Thank you thank you and happy New Year's to you and your family. Also thank you for the laugh sorry this morning!
  • Oh, these look great! I really need a good energy bar to bring to work with me. Alsooo, love your writing. Laughing so much! :)
  • Andrew Heard
    Just enjoying one of these fantastic bars. I too am a big fan of chocolate / mint. Made with almond butter as it is what I had on hand, I was super excited to get this recipe as I had everything I needed to make them. . The mint I admit I added more than a few drops... In error. But it tastes amazing.
  • eli
    Hi there, This looks delicious! How can i make it fructose free-no dried fruit! what can i replace the dates with-no apples either. Thanks so much :)

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