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October 21, 2014

#FBLA's October Meeting and Cacao-Pumpkin Energy Bars

Food Bloggers Los Angeles had an inspired October meeting focused on fall entertaining.  I have learned so much about blogging and social networking from fellow members, and this month was no different, with a discussion about hashtags and how to rise holiday blog content above the norm. 

In the coming weeks, look for posts from me about holiday tablescapes, what to do with all those leftovers, and what to serve for holiday entertaining outside of the "big meal" such as breakfast casseroles and movie snacks.  Thanks, FBLA, for the brainstorming session!


I love to keep old traditions, but like to try out something new each year as well.  What new traditions will you be trying out during the coming holidays?  Please leave a comment on this blog post.

Vegan Cacao-Pumpkin Energy Bars
 (makes 4 large bars)

1/2 cup unsalted raw Cashews
2 Tbsp raw Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
2 rounded Tbsp unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/4 cup Rolled Oats

Pulse above in food processor till ground fine.   To mixture, add

1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 rounded Tbsp ground Cacao Nibs
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup pitted dates (about 15-20 dates)

Pulse again until dates are well chopped.  Lastly, add

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

Blend in food processor until a ball forms.  Use mini tart pans, well-greased with coconut oil.  Dip a tablespoon in coconut oil and use it to shape the dough into the tart pans.  Wrap in waxed paper or saran wrap and freeze until solid.  These are best eaten straight out of the freezer to maintain their shape.  If thawed they will be "nougat"-like and soft.

I admit to being a bit generous in my measurements of the ingredients I really love, like coconut and cacao, so the measurements aren't precise, which is why i've listed them as mounded.  This is one of those recipes I often improvise and revise slightly based on what's at hand.  In the past I've added dried citrus peel, candied orange peel, dried dates, dried cherries, pistachios - whatever you can come up with.  Just keep the ratio of dried fruit (including the dates) to nuts and seeds to liquid (in the pumpkin) roughly the same and it will work out fine. 

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