© 2017 Green Kitchen Stories mintchocolatepowerbars_01

Mint Chocolate Power Bars

By placing two pillows under my left elbow, I can hold sleeping baby Gabriel with one arm and type this text on the laptop that is balancing on my right leg with the other hand. It’s brilliant! I can even reach that bowl of soaked oats with raisins, apple and crunchy peanut butter that stands there on the sofa table as a night snack. Okay, maybe not brilliant. This balancing act is pretty tricky actually. And I suspect that my left arm will starting to go numb soon. I should probably focus on my son and just wait for Luise to get back from the shower. But I did promise 192 people on instagram that I would post this recipe today. And I’ve already spent an hour tucking the other two kids to bed with a night story that was so boring that I fell asleep 14 times, so I feel like I really need to do this now or I’ll be starting the year by breaking a promise.

Therefore I am currently writing this post one-handed – sitting in a patchwork plaided sofa in a cute little airbnb apartment in Copenhagen that we’re renting for a few days – chewing on a peanut butter covered apple with a chubby little cherub snoring in my other hand. And Luise thinks I’m bad at multitasking. Ha!

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Before we left, I prepared a batch of power bars for the car-ride down. When they don’t serve as car snacks, we use them as quick energy fuel at home whenever we or the kids are in need of a treat. A chocolate bar (or two) in my gym bag also makes a pretty compelling argument for dragging my tired daddy-of-three body to the gym. The bars rarely last long in our freezer.

Lately, I have been completely hooked on this chocolate and mint combo. Combining fresh mint flavour with rich chocolate always seemed weird to me, but all of a sudden I have changed my mind. It’s brilliant and for some reason extra perfect as workout fuel. This recipe is based on the Hemp Bars in our first book but a little simpler and fresher in flavour. We top them with cacao nibs which not only make them look great but also adds a nice crunch to their texture.

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I asked Isac to assist me when I made these but he was pretty useless. When asked to pit the dates, he placed the dates in his mouth and the stones in the food processor (which made the bars crunchier than intended). He also kept insisting that the cacao nibs were bombs that exploded on the bars, leaving giant craters after them. So if you think the bars look uneven, this little hooligan is to blame.

By the way, I’m not writing one-handed anymore. Halfway along this post, I spilled some oats on Gabriel’s head so he woke up. Luise is nursing him now (and most probably also piercing an imaginary voodoo doll with my face on it with a thousand needles). I am not saying that I spilled on him on purpose. But Luise did spend an awfully long time in the shower. And that spoon was too small to balance oats on anyway.

Yup that was it. First post of the year. Giant craters, crying babies, voodoo dolls and eating chocolate at the gym. And I’m only 44 minutes late for my deadline. Not a bad start.

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Mint Chocolate Power Bars
Makes approx. 18 bars
 

You can add a few tablespoons protein powder of choice (instead of the desiccated coconut) if you are making them as post-workout bars. Nuts can of course also be used instead of the seeds, if preferred.

150 g / 1 cup mixed pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, toasted if preferred
5 tbsp desiccated coconut, unsweetened

4 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp cacao powder
50 g / 1/2 cup rolled oats
2 pinches sea salt
4 tbsp virgin coconut oil
180 g soft fresh dates (roughly 16 dates / 1 packed cup), pitted
5 tbsp nut butter of choice (we love using a combination of tahini and cashew butter but peanut butter also works great)
a few drops peppermint oil (or 2-3 tsp dried mint leaves, crushed)

Topping
60 g / ½ cup raw cacao nibs

Line a 16 x 22 cm baking tin with parchment paper.
Add the seeds, coconut, chia seeds, cacao powder, oats and salt to a food processor and pulse on high speed until coarsely crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add coconut oil, dates, nut butter, mint (oil or dried leaves) to the food processor. Run on high speed until entirely smooth and sticky. Add the seed and cacao crumbles and pulse quickly until mixed together. Help out with a spatula in case the mixture isn’t combined. Taste and add more mint flavour or salt if needed, then pulse a few more times.
Transfer to the baking tin and, using the palm of your hand or the back of a spoon (coated in coconut oil), press the mixture down very firmly to create an even and compact bar (roughly 2 cm high). Scatter the cacao nibs on top and use a spatula to press them down slightly into the mixture.
Let set in the freezer for approx. 15-30 minutes before cutting into approx. 18 bars.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the freezer and they will keep for a few months. You can wrap them in baking paper to make them more portable. Thaw them ever so slightly before serving.

NB: For a nut-free alternative, replace the nut butter with a seed butter of choice.

60 Comments

  1. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 00:55 | #

    Happy New Year! Your post made me smile — perfectly captures the truth of family life. Great looking recipe — a perfect one to try! Easing into 2017 by eating something chocolate-y can’t be bad!

  2. anna
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 01:45 | #

    haha that is hilarious! I love the look of these and I add mint on everything!

  3. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 03:08 | #

    You’re writing is some of my favorite David. Totally laughing in my head as I read so much of this, and adoring how your recipes and family co-mingle. These bars sound like magic, I’m on team chocolate + mint big time. Happy new year!

  4. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 03:36 | #

    Loved reading your daddy juggling act. Have to give these amazing looking bars a try.

  5. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 06:27 | #

    Too funny David :D You two are totally my parenting model : you look fearless, brave, and totally amazing. I always remind my husband that you travelled with Elsa when she was super little, that having a child is not really an obstacle, it only requires a new way to think about things.
    Ps : I’m sure the bars are delicious by the way ;)

  6. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 09:06 | #

    This post just made me smile so hard :) Life is a hassle but it’s all about the attitude, and you guys have it right! And these bars look delish and chocolate never fails, even at the gym. Happy New Year!

  7. Lynne
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 10:53 | #

    I loved this post David. Laughed all the way through it. Thanks for keeping me amused and for another awesome recipe :)

  8. Floriane Wittner
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 11:35 | #

    This first post of the year was definitely worth it! I laughed like I rarely do, thank you! :D

  9. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 11:45 | #

    Haha I so love the realness! What an awesome recipe I can’t wait to whip these up!

  10. Helene
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 12:09 | #

    Looks great! Just one question: Is “rolled oats” the same as “havregryn”?
    Thanks :-)

    • Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 12:30 | #

      Ja precis – havregryn. Och desiccated coconut är vanliga kokosflingor. Och dadlarna är såna man köper i kartong på fruktavdelningen.
      Lycka till!
      /David

      • Helene
        Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 06:25 | #

        Mange tak :-) Jeg har aldrig prøvet en af jeres opskrifter før, men tit kigget med. Så nu skal det være.

        • Helene
          Posted 5 Jan ’17 at 06:08 | #

          Hej igen og tak for svar!
          Jeg var ude for at shoppe til opskriten i går og kunne ikke finde mynteolie (kun æteriske olier, ikke til spisning). Er det muligt at bruge mynte krydderi i istedet? Eller kan du anbefale en anden smag, som f.eks. rent vaniliepulver? Mange tak!

  11. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 13:07 | #

    So glad you started the year with sharing this beautiful story togehter with great pictures and this tasty recipe … it always makes me feel like easy when I look at the pictures, read the text and almost smell all the good stuff in your live … happy new year with all the gladiators, bombs and happy moments of chaos! All the best from Gudrun

  12. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 13:30 | #

    Sounds like such a delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing. After your Instagram picture yesterday I was really forward to it.

    Happy New Year

  13. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 13:50 | #

    Too funny :) I’m a big fan of mint and chocolate and these power bars sound so perfect. Love that little picture of your son as well – he is adorable!

  14. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 15:25 | #

    Loved reading this post! :) Cant’ wait to try this power bars! One question – could I omit the nut butter by any chance?

  15. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 16:30 | #

    Your post made me laugh out loud. The real talk was seriously appreciated. And these bars look delicious. I was surprised to hear that mint chocolate was a weird flavor for you (it’s super classic in America!), and I’m so glad you changed your mind.

  16. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 16:58 | #

    These look absolutely delicious, I really will have to make some of these to help with my afternoon slump at work.

  17. Camilla
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 17:57 | #

    Underbart inlägg, tack för era böcker och bloggen som jag nu är beroende av :) Tredje barnet kom i november så jag känner igen mig totalt! :)

  18. birgit
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 20:44 | #

    yeah happy new year
    you are the first foodblogger i read whose face is on a voodoodoll
    giggle
    so have a good time you and your beloved ones
    lg birgit
    ps recipe sounds delicious :)))

  19. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 21:47 | #

    Love how you guys always combine your recipes with hilarious snippets of family life! Chocolate & mint is such a winning combination – these sound so, so delicious. Happy New Year! <3

  20. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 23:06 | #

    Great post–you’re a multi-tasking pro!

    Could you use fresh mint in the recipe? If so, how much would you suggest? It sounds divine! I love mint chocolate :)

    Cheers! xx

  21. Keadron
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 23:06 | #

    These look really great but I am wondering if you have an idea for substituting oats. Our toddler has numerous allergies…oats being a big one. (We can’t do nuts with him, but can substitute seeds and seed butter.) Quinoa flakes maybe? Organic brown rice crisps? Thought I’d ask your opinion before I head to the kitchen with this one. Thanks!

  22. Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 23:12 | #

    Thank you! I have been trying to think of some new healthy snack ideas and these are just perfect! I have to try them!

  23. Marissa Koh
    Posted 3 Jan ’17 at 23:22 | #

    You’ve got such a way with words – I always find myself smiling as I read your posts. That picture of Isac is also absolutely adorable – hey, at least he did prove to be a good model for the photos of the post, haha! ;)

    Going to pop the ingredients for these bars into my shopping list for tomorrow!

  24. Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 00:19 | #

    These look so delicious, I can’t wait to try them this weekend, I have all the ingredients to hand!

    I have never thought about using tahini in any of my granola bar recipes, I love this tip, thank you! xx

    http://www.one-more-slice.com/

  25. Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 01:56 | #

    Parents are superheroes, there’s no doubt about it. It amazes me that you have such an amazingly inspirational and beautiful blog while raising three children AND traveling often! And you make it look so easy, too :)

  26. Sharmila
    Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 11:15 | #

    Made last night, all I can say is they are delicious!!!

  27. Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 11:42 | #

    Wonderful recipe. Thank you for the wonderful blog. I am a hardcore foodie based out of South India. Calicut is the city where I am based and everything here is centered around food. I keep trying new recipes and this one sounds quite doable.
    I too write a food blog called Dinner thoughts’’ .Everything in this blog is around food, but beyond food. The blog started as a documentation of Malabar’s A princely state in South India) diverse food culture. Now it has grown beyond it.
    Please read
    http://www.dinnerthoughts.net

  28. Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 17:42 | #

    Sending so much love to you and your family! Also, these bars look incredible! Mint chocolate is an ultimate power combo!

  29. Posted 4 Jan ’17 at 18:42 | #

    The perfect way to indulge and not break the new year resolution so early ;)

    http://www.chevronsandeclairs.com/blog

  30. Lydia
    Posted 5 Jan ’17 at 05:16 | #

    Ha – I love the way you wrote this post. So relatable. As a nursing Mum, I’ve shot daggers out of my eyes many times :)

  31. Posted 5 Jan ’17 at 10:42 | #

    I would like try this soon. Looks so much delicious.

  32. eli
    Posted 5 Jan ’17 at 10:50 | #

    Hi there,
    This looks delicious! How can i make it fructose free-no dried fruit! what can i replace the dates with-no apples either.
    Thanks so much :)

  33. Andrew Heard
    Posted 6 Jan ’17 at 00:14 | #

    Just enjoying one of these fantastic bars.
    I too am a big fan of chocolate / mint.
    Made with almond butter as it is what I had on hand, I was super excited to get this recipe as I had everything I needed to make them. . The mint I admit I added more than a few drops… In error. But it tastes amazing.

  34. Posted 6 Jan ’17 at 02:17 | #

    Oh, these look great! I really need a good energy bar to bring to work with me. Alsooo, love your writing. Laughing so much! :)

  35. Lucy
    Posted 6 Jan ’17 at 14:03 | #

    OMG I died laughing when I was reading this. I’ve visualized the whole scene in my head. Things we do to multitask. Been there done that. Just recently I bought some bars that looks exactly like these. Of course yours are much more natural and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at it. Thank you thank you and happy New Year’s to you and your family. Also thank you for the laugh sorry this morning!

  36. Posted 8 Jan ’17 at 07:15 | #

    Have been meaning to make these all week. Finally got the chance and they were just as delicious as I imagined. They remind me of thin mint girl scout cookies in the best possible way. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Posted 8 Jan ’17 at 11:19 | #

    This is the best post ever, David! Thanks for being so candid in your stories. Love the bars. Simple but substantial and delicious. The perfect trio.

  38. Jana
    Posted 9 Jan ’17 at 00:43 | #

    That is hilarious! I believe I have done some similar balancing acts with my baby, but without dropping food on her head! :) I made these bars right away- chocolate+mint is the best -and they turned out great! In stead of the rolled oats I used additional coconut and some hulled hemp seeds, and didn’t have enough dates so I put in a few drops of stevia. They held together great and are deliciously chocolaty/minty. The little ones here love them too! Thanks a bunch!

  39. Posted 9 Jan ’17 at 14:02 | #

    Children will love this power bar. It does not only have chocolates but also nuts that can give them protein for nutrition.

  40. Posted 9 Jan ’17 at 19:11 | #

    Perfect energy booster I must say!

  41. Posted 10 Jan ’17 at 21:13 | #

    So happy that you’ve added another power bar to your repertoire, I love your muesli bar (as does my mum and dad) so I’m sure something a little chocolatier will go down a treat!! Added to the list for when we need some energy:)

  42. Ella
    Posted 11 Jan ’17 at 11:26 | #

    These are OUT OF THIS WORLD. So good. They are really filling and keep me going well into the afternoon if I grab one before work. I think the addition of the extra salt makes all the difference and takes the flavour up a notch. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  43. Posted 12 Jan ’17 at 19:54 | #

    Great way of combining sweet and healthy. So, it is great for people who have sweet tooth and to boost their power!

  44. helen
    Posted 13 Jan ’17 at 13:46 | #

    brilliant!! recipe Looks good too ;-) !!

  45. Posted 15 Jan ’17 at 13:55 | #

    I like those, eating almost eeveryday..

  46. Posted 18 Jan ’17 at 01:11 | #

    Loving this recipe, will be giving this one a go! Like a healthy peppermint slick, winning!

  47. Nadia
    Posted 18 Jan ’17 at 02:59 | #

    I check your website many times daily more than I check my Facebook ! I literally live on your recipes, have your books and still can’t get enough of it, THANK YOU !

    My children and mostly my husband finished those yummy bars all in 2 days although I’ve tried to cut them even smaller than the recipe picture !
    The only issue I had that they were too oily I have replaced the seeds with mixed nuts.
    Did I need to add less than 150 g nuts or cut on the nut-butter ?

    Thanks,
    Nadia

  48. Posted 18 Jan ’17 at 04:15 | #

    Oh yum! Thank you for this recipe and you made me laugh all the way. Isac sounds hilarious, you are very lucky. Looking forward to more!

  49. Posted 21 Jan ’17 at 02:18 | #

    I’ll try to make this recipe, looks delicious!!! Thxxx

  50. Allison
    Posted 23 Jan ’17 at 04:53 | #

    I can’t believe how DELICIOUS these are. I used a combo of cashews and peanuts instead of pumpkin seeds, and almond butter for the nut butter, and they’re amazing. The peppermint oil is the key – they remind me of girl scout cookies!

  51. Posted 23 Jan ’17 at 15:22 | #

    Wow, yummy chocolate….I got new item in new year. My child will be satisfied when they will get. That’s why I am thinking that I will make it. Even I already see, you have also shared method and ingredients. For which making, it will help. So, thanks!

  52. Anna
    Posted 25 Jan ’17 at 17:47 | #

    I just made these and they are too delicious, not sure how long they will last… :) I used half tahini and half homemade coconut butter that I had in the fridge and they turned out amazing. Love the fresh mint flavour and that they are heavy on seeds instead of nuts!

  53. Gustavo Woltmann
    Posted 25 Jan ’17 at 21:02 | #

    Yummy, I’ll be sure to make some, looks like a brilliant healthy snack idea.

  54. Posted 27 Jan ’17 at 09:54 | #

    Amazing recipie , will surely try !
    I am professional baker from India & I too make eggless / Eggfree Cakes & they are quite a hit . I think the world is changing towards healthy or should I say vegetarian options
    Plz do have a look at my Eggfree cakes which I am making . Thanks
    http://www.cakecentral.co.in/3d-cakes-4d-cakes-theme-designer-ca

  55. AnonyMouse
    Posted 14 Feb ’17 at 16:07 | #

    Made these and love the recipe. I couldn’t get chia seeds so left them out, and used half walnuts, half sunflower seeds. I find the peanut butter taste too strong and might omit in the future to enjoy a more pure chocolate/mint flavour.

  56. Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 14:11 | #

    Oooh chocolate and peppermint always feels light and fresh on the palate. This pleases me as then I can eat more that one bar because it doesn’t feel heavy. Thank you for the scrummy recipe! -Hanne

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