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Easy as CAKE to make (get it?!!) & no baking necessary? Yes! If you like carrot cake, then meet your new favorite homemade nutrition bar! I make a lot of nutrition bars, but this one is probably the most requested by hubbie James, and coming from a finicky eater, that says a lot.
Nutrition bars like this come in handy when you’re out RVing and having adventures on the road. When your tummy grumbles, your energy wanes at the edge of Old Faithful (or wherever you happen to be) and you start snapping at your spouse for blinking wrong, pull your carrot bar out of your pocket and you’ll be good as gold.
Not only that, just check out the ingredients list! Nutrition at its best. If you haven’t started using ground flaxseed as a dietary staple, this recipe is a great way to start. Flaxseed is an excellent plant source of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA), so it supports a healthy heart & lowers bad cholesterol. It’s also a significant source of phytochemicals called lignans, which have cancer fighting properties (particularly breast and prostate). Additionally, flaxseed increases your digestive health with its high concentrations of dietary fiber; but that’s not all! Women struggling with hot flashes may see them minimized when they take flaxseed. And, flaxseed regulates irregular menstrual cycles. So! If you aren’t already on the flaxseed bandwagon, jump on! Starting with these yummy carrot bars…
But first, I should mention you want to make sure you are using ground flaxseed instead of whole flaxseed. Ground is preferred because our bodies digest it better. Whole flaxseed tends to run right through our intestines, so we get none of the health benefits. The problem though, ground flaxseed spoils fairly quickly. Your best bet is to buy whole flaxseeds and then grind them in a coffee grinder right before use.
2 cups pitted medjool dates (or about 16-18 medjools)
1 ½ cups almonds
1 cup grated carrots
¾ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup unsweetened dried pineapple chunks
2 tsp coconut oil
2 TBS honey
¼ tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (but don’t tell James…he hates these spices)
You’ll need a food processor. Start with adding the dates alone to the food processor, and get them evenly chopped up to fairly fine consistency. Remove them from the food processor into a large mixing bowl. Next, add your almonds, carrots, and flaxseed to the food processor. Once blended, add them to the dates in the mixing bowl.
Blend up the remaining ingredients in the food processor, and then stir everything together by hand in the mixing bowl.
Pour the mixture into a cake pan and press it into the pan at whatever thickness you prefer.
Stick them in the fridge for an hour or so to set before cutting them up. This recipe makes about 20 bars.
How easy was that?!? And did you notice my super cool wrapping job?
I got that technique from the cookbook, “Feed Zone Portables,” which not only has great ideas for how to wrap up on-the-go snacks, but also has awesome recipe ideas for portable snacks. To wrap them up, you just need to buy some pan lining paper, which is foil on one side and white paper on the other. The book explains how to super quickly cut up the entire roll of pan lining paper into manageable little squares for wrapping, and then how to wrap your snack bars so that part of the white shows for labeling. Cool beans!
And now, a note from James about these bars:
Nutrition facts (per bar): 150 calories, 4g protein, 4g fiber, 7g fat
How are they stored?
Like any homemade veggie/fruit bar, they keep much better in the fridge. But, we’ve kept them at room temp for a day or two with no problems.