Tahini and amaranth energy bars

Tahini and amaranth energy bars

tahini and amaranth energy bars

In case you’ve missed it, my fiancé is currently cycling his butt off across Crete. Him and his mates are attacking some ridiculously steep hills in +30 degrees C temperatures on a daily basis. I cannot even begin to imagine the effort and energy required to sustain such a gruelling schedule.

Duncan says that he has been finding food aspect of this trip a bit of a challenge (as locals appear to love their meat and cheese). After so much cycling every day, he is now able to count all his ribs apparently. Charming, eh? He says he is sick of eating nasty energy bars full of sugar and artificial additives so that gave me an idea to come up with an all natural, tahini and amaranth energy bars for his arrival.

These little bars are super quick and easy to make. The combination of sweet dates and bitter tahini is quite an addictive one (hang on, are there THREE pieces missing? TIIIIIINA!!!) . They are refined sugar free and really quite minimal – the only essential ingredients are the first four. The rest are optional extras and completely flexible – just use whatever seeds, nuts or dried fruit that you happen to have on hand.

What bulks these little bars up without making them heavy is puffed amaranth. It’s an ancient grain that contains a complete protein (i.e. including a complete set of amino acids) and a good amount of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin C too. It’s also gluten-free as technically it isn’t really a grain. When eaten straight out of a packet, it’s really quite bland but when set in the gooey date tahini goodness it becomes really quite palatable 🙂 I can imagine that grabbing one of these bars straight from the freezer after a day of cycling in the heat would be exactly what the doctor ordered.

dates and date paste for tahini and amaranth energy bars

tahini and amaranth energy bars setting

tahini and amaranth energy bars close

tahini and amaranth energy bars drizzled with chocolate

makes
12
PREP
20 min
COOKING
0 min
makes
12
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
0 min
INGREDIENTS
  • about 250 g / 1½ cups of pitted dates
  • 90 ml raw tahini
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3½-4 cups puffed amaranth
  • a handful of almonds or other nuts, chopped (optional)
  • a handful of pumpkin seeds / pepitas (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder mixed with 2 tbsp of melted virgin coconut oil OR melted dark chocolate for drizzling (optional)
METHOD
  1. Pit the dates. If they are sticky, there is no need to soak them. If they are dry, soak them in boiling water for 5-10 mins.
  2. Line a tray with baking paper. I used a small tray of the following dimensions: 20 cm / 8 in by 15 cm / 6 in tray.
  3. Drain the dates and squeeze the excess water out of them using a paper towel. Chuck dates into a food processor. Process until you get a smooth / thick paste (like in the photo nr 3). Add tahini and salt and process until they are all combined.
  4. Transfer date and tahini paste to a large bowl, add amaranth and work it in until you get a pliable (but not to soft) dough. Add almonds, pepitas and sesame seeds if using. Mix it in well.
  5. Spread the ‘dough’ in the paper lined tray, pressing it down well and into the corners. Make sure the base layer is even. Place a piece of baking paper on top and weigh the tray down with something heavy. Pop it into the freezer for about 4-8 hours to set.
  6. Remove from the freezer, cut into equal size pieces and drizzle with a bit of melted dark chocolate if you want it to look nice. Store in the freezer in an air tight container.
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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
145
7%
sugars
13 g
15%
fats
6 g
8%
saturates
1 g
5%
proteins
4 g
7%
carbs
23 g
9%
*per bar
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5.0
3 reviews, 15 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Jas:
So delicious! I replaced the nuts and seed with chopped hazelnuts. Absolutely delightful!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Jas! I'm really happy that it was such a success! x Ania
Aliki:
Yum )) thank you ❤❤🙏🙏
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure :) Ania
Marco:
How long should i take one bar out before it is ready to eat and how long can it stay out from the freezer before it begin to melt/ lose form?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Marco,
    You can eat them straightaway - they have a lot of healthy fats and little water so they are delicious frozen, especially on a hot day. If you simply keep them in the fridge, they should be fine or if you want to take them hiking or something, store in a box and don't expose to direct heat. Hope this helps! Ania
      Marco:
      Thanks. Do you have any experience with using other ingredients instead of only puffed amaranth? I planing tomake an attempt whit these recipes and make these bar whit a mix of:
      1 cup of puffed amaranth
      1 cup of puffed quinoa
      1 cup of puffed millet
      1 cup of puffed buckwheat
      Instead of only use puffed amaranth
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hi Marco,
        I've used some of these, not all of them. Provided that you like the taste of each, they should work fine mixed together. I don't anticipate any issues. Good luck! Ania
Val:
I’d love to make these but none of the Natural Food stores I’ve been to sells puffed amaranth. They have puffed rice and puffed spelt and puffed corn. I doubt any of these when puffed have much nutritious in them. Maybe puffed quinoa? As I’ve never tasted puffed amaranth what do you think would be the closest replacement? Thank you! An intriguing recipe for sure!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Val,
    I think puffed quinoa is probably the closest. I hope you'll enjoy these. x Ania
Priyanka Sunder:
Hey Ania, Thanks for sharing this recipe.. it seems simple enough and positively tasty. Love it! Was wondering how long these can be kept frozen. I wanted to make some extra and keep for the future. .t
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Priyanka,
    Yes, I am pretty sure that they will be fine to freeze. Hope you'll enjoy them! Ania
Marly:
You and I have some ingredient karma going on because I recently have a thing for tahini. It's because I'm trying to go light on the peanut butter these days (insert tears here), and so tahini has been a nice substitute..and I'm starting to really love it. Speaking of love, gotta try this recipe soon cuz I thank I'm gunna LUV it! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Marly,
    Yay for ingredient karma! Man, I love tahini and yes, that's a pretty nice peanut butter substitute but, can't we have both? ;) It's good fat, isn't it? I love all nut and seed butters without exception but tahini and date caramel mixed together is my most recent discovery and I'm hooked - it's a miracle there was any left over for these bars ;) Hope'll try and love it! x
Briju:
Very innovative and yummy bars
Raw tahini means just paste of sesame?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Briju! You can use whatever tahini you have - the reason it says 'raw' (it's simply made from unroasted sesame seeds) is that originally I intended for these bars to be raw but then realised that amaranth is popped on a hot pan so they won't be raw anyway.
      Kar:
      hi can't wait to make some of this good stuff you got here. I noticed the " 3½-4 cups puffed amaranth*" ingredient, is there something we are supposed to look for in this page on how to make the puff? thanks
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hi Kar,
        So glad you are making these, hope you'll love them as much as I do. The asterix is a copy and paste error, I've deleted it now. I used an already puffed amaranth so if you are unsure how to do it, you'll have to ask Google. Good luck!
        Ania
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