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My Favorite Homemade Snack I Always Keep on Hand

It's satisfying, sweet, and was developed by the chef in my family.

I'm picky when it comes to snacks. Generally, if I'm eating between meals, I want something satisfying, substantial, and sweet (if possible!) without a ton of added sugar. Packaged goodies don't really do it for me, so I prefer to whip up something homemade.

My sister is a professional baker and constantly plays around with recipes in the kitchen, but her maca bars are top three in my book. They're filling (from the nuts) and sweet (from the dates) and I'll eat them for breakfast when I'm running out the door, at my desk when the 3 PM slump kicks in, or even take them on a plane when I'm traveling. She generously offered to share her recipe (and some fun variations if lemon/date isn't your thing), and I hope you find them as delicious as I do! 

P.S. They're good for weeks in the fridge, but they're so good, I doubt they'll last that long.

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2 cups cashews
2 cups dates
1 ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tablespoons maca powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 lemons 

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1. The night before making (or at least 8 hours before) soak 1 of the 2 cups of cashews in a bowl covered completely with water.

2. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. 

3. After the nuts have been soaked in water, drain them. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds until ground up to the consistency you like.

4. Place the mixture into the pan and flatten with the back of a spatula. Try to get it as even as possible. Place in the freezer to make it easier to cut into square pieces. Enjoy!

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- Swap the lemon for orange zest and the maca powder for cocoa powder.

- Remove the lemon zest, and swap out 1/2 cup of the dates for dried cranberries and add a few teaspoons of cinnamon.

- Remove the lemon zest, add some freeze-dried strawberries and mini chocolate chips.

- Remove the lemon zest, and swap the maca powder for ground coffee of your choice.


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