Cashew Energy bars
Energy bars are best for the mid afternoon hunger pangs. I usually have a stash of energy bars or energy balls at the side of my desk. Whenever I get ‘hangry’ in the afternoon,these energy bars calm my nerves. So this time around, I made Cashew- Peanut bars that are crunchy and so much more textured because of the ingredients in them.
I made these energy bars in an Indian style chikki. Chikki is basically a fudgy bar made with dry fruits, nuts and peanuts.
I first made this around the time of Holi. I was missing Puran Polis made of chickpeas and jaggery and flavored with nutmeg and cardamom. The Puran Poli recipe needs a lot of patience and time which I lack. So I ended up making energy bars flavored with nutmeg and cardamom and having ingredients of the Puran poli.
How I made Cashew – Peanut bars
I have used Jumbo Cashews from Karmanuts. The size of the Cashews is bigger than regular and taste great.
I use Cashews because the copper and iron in them work together to help the body form and use red blood cells. This in turn keeps blood vessels, nerves, bones, and the immune system healthy and functioning properly.
Along with Cashews, I have used roasted peanuts and pistachios. I have also sprinkled some roasted quinoa to get an earthy taste. To flavor these energy bars I have used an Indian essential spice – cardamom and nutmeg.
I have used jaggery in this recipe because jaggery is rich in iron and is highly recommended for anaemic people. It also contains many minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc. It is a better option than refined sugar anyday. And jaggery also adds a very good texture to the energy bars.
Cashew Energy bars
- 1 cup of Cashews 150 gms
- 1/2 cup jaggery/coconut sugar/brown sugar 100gms
- 1 tbsp of ghee 12gm
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 tsp of cardamom
- 1/4 cup of peanuts
- 1/4 cup of roasted dalia/ roasted split chickpea optional
- 1/4 cup of pistachios
- 1 tbsp quinoa
- pinch of salt
- ILine a parchment paper to a square shaped pan, grease the paper with cooking spray or oil. OR You can grease a flat plate with oil/ghee/butter.
- Heat a saucepan on medium flame.
- Gently toast the cashew until slightly brown.
- Remove these cashews once brown and transfer to a mixing bowl
- Add peanuts and roast until they turn slightly dark in color.
- Remove these peanuts and transfer to the bowl with cashews.
- Add Pistachios and gently toast them too.
- Transfer the pistachios to the bowl.
- You can toast any other nuts of your choice and add it to the bowl.
- For roasting quinoa, reduce the flame to low and keep stirring. The Quinoa emits a beautiful nutty smell once its roasted properly. Once you smell the nutty aroma, transfer quinoa to a plate.
- Now add jaggery/coconut sugar/brown sugar to the pan along with ghee. Ghee adds a glossy texture to the bar. Keep stirring the jaggery on medium flame.
- Slowly the jaggery will melt, then add honey. Keep stirring, reduce the flame once the syrup becomes bubbly.
- To check if the jaggery has reached the right consistency, drop few drops of the syrup into a bowl of water and let it sit for 10 seconds.
- It should form hard ball and cut with a snap sound. If not boil for another minute and check.
- Add cardamom and nutmeg, the toasted nuts and mix gently. Turn off the flame.
- Transfer this mixture to the baking pan and flatten it out. Be quick or the mixture begins to harden.
- Pat the mixture with a flat spoon or greased bowl (be careful, the mixture is really hot).
- Make sure the thickness is uniform. Once flattened, sprinkle quinoa on top of the bars.
- Once the mixture slightly cold, make small cuts of desired size with a knife.
- Keep it in the fridge for an hour until the bars set.
- Store in a airtight container.