You only need five ingredients and a few minutes to have a healthy snack stash in the fridge (that’s gluten free and can be made vegan) when you make these Banana Caramel Cashew No-Bake Energy Bars.
Banana Caramel Cashew No-Bake Energy Bars
Remember last week when I said I would tell you a story about cashews in my Flourless Caramel Cashew Cheesecake Swirl Brownies post? No? Go ahead and refrsh your memory. I’ll wait.
Well I’m sure I had you all hanging on the edge of your seat, so here is my super captivating story about cashews.
Back in my pharmaceutical outsourcing days, I ran a project that had me leading a team on a two-week trip through China and India visiting chemical manufacturing facilities. Exciting stuff, right?
My point exactly because at that time I should have already known life would lead me in a different direction since the most interesting and exciting part of the trip was the food I had the opportunity to try. Notice I said “opportunity to try”. That was intentional, because there were some things I definitely was given the opportunity to try, but I did not seize that opportunity. Fish lip soup comes to mind. No, that’s not a typo.
But I did have some interesting and amazing meals – traditional dim sum, this egg tomato thing that I wish I could recreate, some seriously tasty chicken and veggie dishes, and although traditionally American, the hotels we stayed at knew how to put out a breakfast buffet. Plus one of the best French meals I’ve had in my life in a high rise in Shanghai.
At one of the plants we visited in India, someone, perhaps it was even the CEO himself, mentioned that in addition to owning the chemical company, he also owned a cashew plantation. As a cashew-lover, I was totally intrigued. And hungry – you see, Indian food and my stomach (especially after over a week of travel, unusual foods, crazy schedules, and a course of prophylactic malaria medication) are not friends. I would have given anything for a handful or two of those cashews.
Well, the CEO, perhaps hoping it might get him some pharmaceutical manufacturing business, sent us off at the end of the day with each of our suitcases two pounds heavier from a giant bag of the biggest, most delicious cashews you’ve ever tasted. Let me tell you, I am so glad they made it through customs because I loved snacking on those tasty nuts, and was quite sad the day I took the last handful out of the bag.
I will probably never get cashews as fresh and amazing as those ever again, but if I do, I’m sure I’ll just eat them straight up and save my regular store-bought, albeit quite yummy, cashews for these…
These Banana Caramel Cashew No-Bake Energy Bars are super simple, super sweet, but are made with nutritious ingredients like banana, dates, cashews, and flax seed. And the best part it, that’s all that’s in there. Well, I did toss in just a few white chocolate chips just for fun, but you could skip those if you want to. So where’s the caramel? Well have you had dates, especially when they are pureed? They totally taste like caramel, especially with the creamy, butteriness of cashews and the sweetness of the ripe banana. It’s so easy to whip up a batch of these and keep them in the fridge to lunchboxes and road trips. The Bug had been devouring them!
And I’m sure your kids will too! Here’s a couple things you might need to make them…
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Banana Caramel Cashew No-Bake Energy Bars
Only five ingredients in this healthy snack that is gluten free, grain free, and can be made vegan.
- half very ripe banana
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed or flax meal
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (vegan, if needed), optional
- Line a 7x7 or 8x8 inch square pan with wax or parchment paper.
- Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a high-powered blender (such as a Blendtec) or food processor, and process until the mixture forms a thick mass. you may need to break up with a spatula once or twice.
- Break up the mixture with a spatula, add white chocolate chips and pulse a few times to distribute the chips, or simply stir in the chips.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan. You can cover the top with more paper and press an equal sized pan to roll the top with a glass to flatten completely.
- Place in refrigerator for a few hour or overnight, until firm (the longer your store them, the more they firm up. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Enjoy this Banana Caramel Cashew No-Bake Energy Bars recipe!
Want some more energy bars?
- Cherry Crumble No-Bake Energy Bars
- Mango Coconut Chia No-Bake Energy Bars
- No-Bake Apricot Chia Energy Bars
And here are some from my friends…
- Supersonic Peanut Butter Energy Bars from Boulder Locavore
- Nut-Free Protein Energy Bars from Petite Allergy Treats
- No-Bake Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars from Chelsea’s Messy Apron