Words of Wisdom and a Raw Dessert to Die For (Not literally, of course…)

Getting older actually has its perks. Really. I wouldn’t lie about that.

First of all, it means  you are alive. That’s kind of a biggie.

But, it also gives you the time and distance needed to reflect upon your life, and see how times of disappointment may have lead to some of the best things that have ever happened to you. In fact, you may actually begin to understand that everything really does happen for a reason!

For instance, had I not had to withdraw from college and be hospitalized, I wouldn’t have met my husband. Had I been able to get pregnant easily, I wouldn’t have had three children so close in age. Had I landed a teaching job right out of college, I wouldn’t have stayed at home with my kids when they were young. And most recently…had I not failed to get a job teaching middle school a few years ago, I wouldn’t be working with the teachers I currently work with. All wonderful things my friends, absolutely wonderful things.

Apparently I need a lot of reminders that God’s plan for me is a whole lot better than my plan for me.

Of course it’s a little bit harder to understand the tough times when you’re in the midst of it all, but just hold on…chances are, good times are right around the corner. And perhaps, the very thing that is causing so much pain, may actually lead to happiness.

Now these bars are not painful, but if you eat one, happiness is very likely to follow. Raw desserts have a way of doing that to a person. Imagine…all nutrient dense ingredients! These little bars are so good for you! Plus, they’re quite filling…so a little bit(e) will do!

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Just another example of how real food can be combined to create something incredibly delicious!

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Base layer:

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Coconut layer:

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Caramel layer:

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Chocolate topping:

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Remove from the pan…

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Cut into pieces and enjoy

Delicious Bars 

(Or Stephanie’s Almond Joy That Brings You Joy Bars)

adapted from a recipe by Signe Leth of  A Million Miles

I changed up the chocolate topping and changed and cut back on the sweetener in the other layers. You may choose to increase the maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter treat, but I thought the dates did a great job. Using honey or agave is another option.

base layer

3/4 c. almonds

1/2 c. coconut flakes

10 dates, the softer the better, pits removed

2 T. coconut oil

1 T. maple syrup

1-2 T. water

Place all ingredients, except water in food processor. Process until blended. Add water slowly through shoot until mixture gets sticky. Line square pan (I used 9 x 9) with parchment paper. Press mixture into pan. Stick pan in freezer while preparing next layer.

coconut layer

1/2 c. cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

1/2 c. coconut

2 T. coconut oil

2 T. maple syrup

1-2 T. water

Place all ingredients, except for water in food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add water if needed to help blend. Spread layer on top of base layer. Stick in freezer while you make the next layer.

caramel layer

1 1/3 c. dates, the softer the better, pits removed

1/4 c. cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

2 T. almond butter

1 t. vanilla

1/4 t. sea salt

1 t. maca (optional)

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until blended. Spread on top of the coconut layer. Place in freezer while you prepare chocolate topping.

chocolate topping

1/2 c. coconut oil

1/2 c. cacao powder

1/4 c. maple syrup

Warm coconut oil. Whisk in cacao powder until blended. Then add maple syrup and whisk some more. Pour on top of caramel layer. Place in freezer until chocolate hardens.

Cut into pieces and enjoy. I kept this in the freezer and simply cut off a chunk whenever I needed a sweet fix.