Raw Matcha Energy Bars

I was asked a couple of weeks back if I had a recipe for matcha energy bars.  I didn't at the time, but it sounded like a wonderful thing to make happen so I had to.  I love matcha in all sorts of things, so I knew it would not be tough to create.  The only thing is, most energy bars are nut based and I wanted these to be easier to digest so I didn't go that route.  Lots of seeds filled with healthy omega 3 oils went into these, chia, hemp and flax seeds are things I try to include in my meals and snacks daily so they were a must.  I used buckwheat to keep these crunchy, since I love an energy bar with texture.  I added a bit of protein so these would be fit for fueling or replenishing before or after workouts as well.  The base was good just like that, but for good measure I threw in cacao nibs and goji berries.

The cacao notes are always wonderful with matcha so I drizzled them with some raw dark chocolate as well because I couldn't resist.  These are the most delicious energy bars I have eaten lately...sweet, substantial, crunchy, yet soft, a little earthy matcha, sweet chocolate...just heavenly.

Raw Matcha Energy Bars
Makes 12

2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or your choice liquid raw sweetener
1/2 cup soft medjool dates, pitted (soaked in filtered water for 30 minutes if not soft and drained well)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp raw walnut butter
1 cup finely shredded, dried coconut
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp matcha powder
1 scoop raw protein powder (I used Garden of Life Raw Vanilla)
1/4 cup raw, shelled hempseeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs

1/4 cup chopped raw dark chocolate (optional for topping)
In a food processor, combine the coconut nectar, dates, sea salt, banana, vanilla extract, and walnut butter and process until smooth. Add the coconut, flaxseed, matcha powder and protein powder and process until well combined.  Add the seeds and buckwheat groats and process briefly just to incorporate (so that there is still texture).  Remove from the processor and knead in goji berries and raw cacao nibs (the mixture may be a little sticky, but that is ok).  Spread out on a lined dehydrator tray 1/2 inch thick in a square (using a bench scraper to shape the sides and an oiled rolling pin helps).  Cut into 12 bars, and place in the dehydrator.  Dry for about 12 hours at 115F until dry but still chewy.  Separate the bars.
Melt the raw chocolate either in a dehydrator in a bowl at 115F or over a double boiler (being careful not to let it get above 115F), and drizzle over the bars.  Allow the chocolate to set.

*Note: if you do not wan to dehydrate these, add more flax meal, a little at a time until they are not sticky, kneading it in, then refrigerate them to firm up.

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