These delicious no bake bars are full of superfoods!!
The combination of chocolate, maca powder and orange is one of my favorites! Most of us probably already know how well chocolate and orange go together. When you add in the earthy, nutty, slightly malty taste of maca it adds a whole new dimension to the already classic combination.
If you are a whole foods, superfood loving person like me, maybe you’ve already tried maca. If not, don’t be scared of it’s slightly earthy taste and smell. My thirteen year old sister loves any sweet treat I make with it. She has tasted these bars and says they are good!
What is maca?
I was surprised to find out that maca is actually a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, right along with broccoli and Brussels sprouts! It actually resembles a turnip or radish and grows in the ground like them.
Maca is a adaptogen, which means it helps your body adapt to any stressors in your life. The cool thing about adaptogens is that the same thing will work totally different depending on what you need. For one person an adaptogen might help them relax. For another it might give them more energy.
Adaptogens basically help you adapt to life in whatever way you need. They are pretty amazing.
Maca is rich in antioxidants and also gives you energy without the side effects of caffeine that some people get. It is thought to increase energy by helping maintain even blood sugar levels so you are not getting spikes and crashes. The constant rise and fall of blood sugar is a huge energy drainer, so by helping maintain an even level, maca preserves your energy.
Maca is great for women
Maca is a amazing supplement for women to take since it helps balance hormones, including estrogen. It can also help with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats and help increase bone density.
It is also a source of iodine.
Convinced yet that you need this in your life? There a few different kinds of maca but they all do about the same thing. The black maca can be more earthy and bitter, while the lighter colors are more mild. I get this brand of maca and it contains a mixture of black, yellow, red and purple.
What other good things are in these bars?
There are no shortage of superfoods here! These bars also have a variety of nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, coconut, hemp, and poppy seeds.
They also have tahini and both tahini and cocoa are good for your immunity!
What if I don’t have orange oil?
To give the orange flavor in this recipe, I use orange essential oil. When it comes to a true citrus flavor, essential oils are the best in my opinion. Extracts simply don’t compare!
But if you don’t have orange essential oil, I would use 1-2 teaspoons of fresh orange zest.
This recipe is also dairy free
If you can’t have or avoid dairy, no worries. This recipe contains no dairy. Instead I used creamed coconut and coconut oil to hold them together.
Creamed coconut is different from coconut oil and is the whole coconut flakes that has been ground up.
Also, don’t confuse creamed coconut with coconut cream which is the thick part of coconut milk that can be used as a dairy free whipped cream.
I buy boxes of it and find it at stores like Bulk Barn or other bulk food stores or health food stores. It is great for making dairy free fudge.
Creamed coconut can also be called coconut butter or coconut manna.
A few tips
I had to make this recipe several times before I was happy with it.
It tasted good right from the start but the first time it was very crumbly to cut.
The next time it was too oily.
So here’s what I learned. Let the bars set in the fridge until they are firm before cutting, not the freezer. The freezer may be tempting since they are ready faster but they will be more crumbly. Once you have cut them you can store them in the freezer though.
Also if you have left the bars in the fridge for quite a while, let them sit out and warm up a bit before cutting. You don’t want them room temperature, but you also don’t want them too cold and solid.
Make sure you chop up the pumpkin seeds a bit so they aren’t so large. This also helps the bars not be crumbly.
A few swaps you can make
Feel free to swap in any seed you desire such as sesame or sunflower. If you don’t have all the seeds I call for you could just double up on one of them.
Almond butter would also make a great substitute for the tahini.
Chocolate Coconut no bake bars printable recipe:
Chocolate Coconut No Bake Bars with Maca and Orange
- 2 boxes of creamed coconut 7 oz. each
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Truvia Sweet mix or favorite sweetener to taste
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut small flake
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 8 pinches/grinds of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds chopped small
- 4 drops orange essential oil or 1-2 teaspoons orange zest
- Toast the coconut in a skillet over medium heat, watching carefully. Once it is golden transfer to a separate dish.
- Melt the creamed coconut, coconut oil, tahini and sweetener in a pot over the lowest heat setting for your element. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat as it can get too hot and go thick and grainy.
- Once everything is completely melted, remove the pot from the heat and add all the other ingredients. Mix well and pour into a parchment lined 8×8 pan.
- Let sit in the fridge until firm before cutting into squares. Store in the freezer.
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You might also enjoy this no bake bar recipe:
Salted Caramel P.B. Crunch No Bake Bars
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