When it comes to food fads, we’re in the green age. Kale and spinach rule the roost, with green smoothies and matcha powder also enjoying the spotlight.
I, for one, have fallen under the green spell. When evening comes and I haven’t eaten anything green all day, I have been known to freak out and attack a head of broccoli in a panic. I’m not sure if it’s peer pressure/marketing or a legitimate craving for good-for-me things. All I can say is, if it’s green, I’m all over that like white on rice.
In addition to my usual green rotation of hippie popcorn and homemade green smoothies, my latest green faves are the healthy mint-chip smoothies from nearby overpriced smoothie
bars, Choice and Beaming. I haven’t replicated them at home yet, but they use fresh mint, spinach, cacao nibs, dates, and other delicious things to make what’s essentially a milkshake into something healthy.
I’ve been meaning to tackle a homemade green bar as well. So much so that I’ve had the ingredients list from a “spirulina dream” Raw Revolution bar in my iPhone notes for months.
The other night, with a sudden desire to USE UP ALL THE FOODSTUFFS WE MIGHT BE MOVING, I decided to give it a whirl. I was too lazy to mold and shape them into bars (pan, press, cut with a knife, package), so I just rolled them into balls. I couldn’t help but think that they looked like Khaleesi’s precious dragons from the first season of Game of Thrones, and so named them appropriately.
Spirulina is the key to turning anything green and tricking anyone into thinking something’s healthy. Really though, spirulina (basically dried algae) is killer healthy, doesn’t cost much, and a little goes a long, long way. I swear if I’d added any more, these babies would’ve turned black.
Dried spirulina contains about 60% protein. It’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, and is superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes. It’s also rich in B vitamins and provides potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, and zinc. (I can’t remember why all these things are good for me right now, but they sure sound like they are! Plus, this is a recipe, not a sports nutrition course.)
I’ve been eating these babies all week, snuck in before a noon Masters session, or, like today, consumed at random convenience stores during a long inland ride in 80+ degree temps. They held their shape surprisingly well and went down easy, chased with icy cold coke, of course. They made me wonder, why don’t I make homemade energy bites more often? They take all of 15 minutes to whip up in a food processor. I’m sold.
Dragon Eggs (aka Homemade Raw Revolution Spirulina Dream Bar)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 – 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp spirulina powder
15 Medjool dates, pits removed
a few squirts honey, maple syrup, or other liquid sweetener
optional: 1/8 cup hemp hearts, for rolling
- Pulse the cashews and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until just crumbly. Set aside 1/4 cup for rolling, if you’d like.
- Add oats, salt, and spirulina powder and pulse some more until everything is nice and crumbly and well mixed.
- Add the dates one by one, squirting in some honey as you go. The mixture will suddenly form a big dough ball (the processor may stop due to difficulty mixing…mine did). This signifies that you’re done!
- Pull pieces of dough off and roll into balls or press into squares.
- Optional: Roll each ball in the pre-ground mixture, or, if you make bars, simply press the top of the bar or square into the mixture.
- Wrap individually or store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
I am too lazy to figure out the nutritional content. Nuts + dates + oats = calories and fat, people.