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Long Haul™ “Dedicated Run” Bars

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Long-Haul-Dedicated-Run-Bars1I bet I caught you off guard with the name of this bar, didn’t I?  This bar is part of my Long Haul™ series that I have created and dedicated to my dad who is a truck driver.  I have shared a few of the recipes that I have made for him so far… the  Long Haul™ Trail Mix Bar and Long Haul™ Banana Apple Granola Bars.  You can read over those recipes and gain an understanding why I created this line of bars.  Dedicated Run refers to a driver pulling freight for one specific shipper week after week, with same pick-up and drop-off points.  My dad has hauled darn near everything, cows, oil, fish, you name it!

My goal with this bar was to make it nut-free and packed full of nutrients and it all started with sesame seeds.  Even though this bar has o wonderful flavors, the taste of sesame seeds is prevalent to me.  The seeds add a sweet, rich, nutty flavor.  When toasted they take on the flavor of roasted peanuts with unique overtones.  I have read that toasting the seeds can actually release more of their nutrients but I am still researching this.  Raw is wonderful (!) but in the end, I aim for getting the most and best nutritional value from all the foods we eat.

I LOVE sesame seeds so I had to begin my journey by learning how they grow.  If I had my way, I would travel the world to see how every food is grown and harvested.  It is just that fascinating to me.  The sesame seed plant grows to about 5 feet tall ( I see we have something in common hehe) and have bell-shaped flowers that vary in color; white, pale yellow, purple.  The pods contain white, brown, or black seeds depending up on the cultivar type, arranged in rows inside.  Each pod (2-5 cm in length) is a long rectangular box like capsule with deep grooves on its sides.  A single pod may contain up to 100 or more seeds.  Now come on, you have to admit, that is pretty darn cool. Most sesame seeds are still harvested by hand due to their fragility.  The plants are cut into stalks with the pods intact and the leaves are removed.  After being bundled up, the stalks are left in a dry area until the pods go brown.  At that point the pods are crushed to gather the seeds.   Ok, which one of you out there has a sesame seed orchard?  I want to come visit.

Sesame seeds are chocked full of zinc , which is an essential mineral for producing collagen and giving skin more elasticity.  Zinc also helps damaged tissues in the body to repair.   Sounds like I need to bathe in this stuff. hehe  Along with zinc, sesame seeds are high in copper which is a mineral that is important for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems.

Sesame contains unsaturated fats so they should be stored in airtight containers to avoid turning rancid.  Properly stored dry seeds generally stay fresh for several months.  Store hulled “white” seeds always in the refrigerator.  Avoid old, offensive smelling (rancid) seeds.  Now to make the bars and enjoy them!

Ingredients: yields 22 bars (1/4 cup each)

Bars:

  • 1 cup packed, dried Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 1/8 cups raw coconut butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp raw agave nectar
  • 2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup white untoasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Hardening chocolate:

Preparation:

  1. Place the coconut butter jar in a large bowl and add hot water to start the melting/ softening process.  Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl place the pitted dates and add enough hot water to cover them.  Let them soak while you pull the rest of the ingredients together.  Having the dates warm when mixing with the coconut butter will prevent the butter from clumping and seizing up.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, shredded coconut, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, chai seeds, cinnamon and salt.  Mix together.
  4. Drain the dates from the soak water.  No need to hand squeeze the excess water out, we need the moisture for the bar.
  5. In the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the dates, coconut butter, and agave until it form a paste.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with your hands.
  7. You can do one of two things; press the batter into a plastic lined baking pan or use the Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press #K5SPS press.   It is the greatest tool for creating compressed bar shapes.  Well worth the purchase!
  8. Place the bars on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.  Dry at 115 degrees (F) for 6-8 hours or until desired dryness is reached.  OR you can skip the drying part and keep them stored in the fridge or freezer.
  9. Dip the bars into the hardening chocolate, let it set up (about 15 minutes) and enjoy!

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10 thoughts on “Long Haul™ “Dedicated Run” Bars

  1. Alison VB says:

    Hi Amie Sue, thank you so much for your wonderful recipes and information. I have learnt so much. I look forward to your emails. Alison.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Alison. I appreciate hearing that. :) Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you find time to play in the kitchen! amie sue

  2. Constance says:

    what a great dedication to your dad
    cant wait to try this one to
    I have been meaning to ask you this for quite some time now -what in the world are you doing with all this food???
    I make all this stuff eat as much of it as I can freeze what I can for later but still end up throwing out a big amount of it LOL
    constance

    • amie-sue says:

      I feed my family and friends. :) It brings me the greatest joy in doing so. Have a great day Constance. amie sue

  3. Kathy says:

    Happy Father’s Day to your wonderful Dad. Truck drivers are such a special group of caring individual’s, my Dad was a Trucker and a VERY hard worker too.God bless your Dad for all his hard work and dedication to his family and his profession and for being the back bone of America. I can see why you felt you wanted to make some recipes exclusively for Dad with added attention to high nutrients while being quick and easy to handle, such a thoughtful good daughter you are, your Dad raised you well. Also thank you for all that you shared about this very tiny yet mighty seed :) and lovely recipe and beautiful photo’s. I know I will enjoy these very much too. Thank you Amie-sue.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you sooooo much Kathy! That meant a lot to read all of that. I will be sure to share it with him too, it will bless him. Love and hugs, amie sue

  4. Sue says:

    Hello Amie-Sue, I made the Long Haul bars today. One word ….. Y U M ! I don’t have a dehydrator so have them in the fridge and didn’t have the cocoa butter so they are naked without the chocolate, but still fabulous! Thank you so much for your website, have given it to 2 people today. xx

    • amie-sue says:

      That is wonderful Sue… I really appreciate the feed-back. :) So many of the raw bars / cookies can be put in the fridge, skipping the dehydration process… they just need to be kept in the fridge or freezer so they don’t go bad. I just gave these bars to my dad last night for Father’s Day. He loved them. :) Have a blessed day. amie sue

  5. nastazia says:

    Hello Amie! thanks for all the great recipes and insights on raw cuisine.
    I would like to ask if we could use the date paste instead of the pitted dates that some recipes require. Or is it a matter of the final consistency of the bar that we need the whole dates?
    Thank you!! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Nastazia,

      You can’t always just substitute the whole dates for date paste. It will depend on the recipe. Date paste is much “wetter” than whole dates. If a recipe needs a tight binder, you will want to use whole dates because they are so sticky when blended with other ingredients. Date paste can hold some recipes together but again it will depend on what the outcome of that recipe is. I tend to use date paste more as a sweetener than a binder. I hope that makes sense. If not, let me know and I will do my best to better explain it. :) Blessings, amie sue

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