So, all of this coconut karate chopping was for a raw food recipe that is out of this world. A few of the raw food recipes that I now love only tasted good to me at first. But this recipe for raw congo bars is really fantastic. These indulgent bars boost good for you, providing omega-3 fatty acids from the nuts and antioxidants from the cocoa powder. You will also notice coconut oil on the list of ingredients. There is a standing debate on whether coconut oil is beneficial or harmful, considering that it contains saturated fats. One side argues that because it is a plant-based saturated fat, it is not metabolized the same way as animal derived fats. The pro side also argues for the numerous benefits that can be gained from coconut oil: boosted immune function, shiny hair and glowing skin, and even weight loss. The other side argues that saturated fats are not good fats and therefore should be avoided. The US Food and Drug Administration supports this side. I do not avoid coconut oil nor do I drink it by the tablespoon for the health benefits it is said to provide. That said...check out these bars!
Congo Bars (Adapted from Living Raw Food)
4 cups walnuts
4 cups pecans
3 cups chocolate sauce (recipe follows)
1 cup black raisins
1 cup dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup maple syrup powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
In two batches, grind walnuts and pecans in food processor until oils start to release. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Transfer to sheet pan and spread into even layer. Refrigerate until set.
Chocolate Sauce (for Fudge Base):
1 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (I used agave)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
Combine all ingredients in blender, except coconut oil. Add coconut oil and mix until liquified.
Vanilla Coconut Topping:
2 cups young coconut meat
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
4 cups dried shredded coconut
In high speed blender blend the coconut meat, agave nectar, vanilla and salt until smooth and shiny (I used a food processor which left it slightly chunky). Add coconut oil. Transfer to bowl and mix in shredded coconut. Spread over fudge base, and chill at least 30 minutes.