Guest Recipe: Chocolate Layered Ojas Bars

Dates, pecans, almonds, and coconut are all foods known to support ojas, the nutrient cream of the body. This substance is our storehouse of deep energy and immunity, and it is a major player in building energy, long-term health, and stability of mind. Here, dense, naturally fatty foods combine with spices to ensure that your digestive fires are lit and the nutrition makes its way into the deep tissues of your body. These grounding ojas bars are an excellent way to replenish your energy supply if you are drained from too much activity.

Makes 20 squares.

Base Layer
4 Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw pecans
½ cup raw almonds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Sweet Spice Mix (see recipe below)

Chocolate Layer
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup cacao powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Optional Toppings
2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes
2 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Line the bottom of a 4 × 8-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse together the dates, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, salt, and Sweet Spice Mix until the mixture begins to stick together and form a ball. Press the date-nut mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Next, prepare one batch of Basic Coconut Chocolate (see recipe below). Melt the coconut oil by standing the jar in hot water. In a small bowl, whisk together the ½ cup coconut oil, cacao, and maple syrup until smooth.

Working quickly, pour the chocolate coconut mixture over the base layer, tilting the pan from side to side so the chocolate is an even covering. Sprinkle with the topping of your choice (coconut flakes, dried cranberries, or slivered almonds). Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until very firm.

Remove the loaf and parchment from the pan, and, using a sharp knife on a cutting board, cut the frozen treat into small squares. Refrigerate the squares between layers of parchment papers in a sealed container for up to 14 days.

For a decadent treat, eat one square at a time and enjoy!

Basic Coconut Chocolate Recipe
Makes about 1 cup

This easy chocolate recipe is the base I use in all my chocolate treats. Coconut butter holds its solidity at higher temperatures, but it’s not as easy to digest as pure coconut oil, which is a great fat. I manage heat sensitivity by keeping chocolate confections in the refrigerator and usually make them in cool weather, when the heating quality of cacao is more appropriate.

½ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup cacao powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Melt the coconut oil by standing the jar in hot water. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, cacao, and maple syrup until smooth.

Sweet Spice Mix
Makes ¼ cup

This mixture showcases the sweet-tasting spices that are prized for their ability to promote sattva with smooth, harmonious flavors. This mixture also aids in the digestion of sweet foods by gently enkindling digestive fire. Use this mix in hot cereal, spiced milks, baked goods, and anywhere you want a warm touch.

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)

Mix the ground spices together in a glass shaker jar.

Find out about upcoming Ayurveda programs with Kate O'Donnell at Kripalu.

From The Everyday Ayurveda Cooking for a Calm Clear Mind by Kate O'Donnell © 2018 by Kate O'Donnell. Photographs © 2018 by Cara Brostrom. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. shambhala.com