Matcha / Coconut / Tahini Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I spent the past couple weeks of March feeling like a zombie cursed with sickness. A sudden shift to warm weather combined with the sneezy majority of LA seemed to do a number on me. I slept my free time away and drank tea, tea, and more tea until my voice returned from the dead. I'd like to thank Manuka honey and apple cider vinegar for soothing my poor throat. Oh, and NyQuil, you d'bomb. 

The day before I started feeling under the weather, I made these matcha bars in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and they quickly became a favorite treat. I was a little skeptical with this combo of flavors, but was pleasantly surprised by how well the tahini, coconut, chocolate, and matcha complemented one another. 

Just last weekend, when I was on an uphill climb to feeling better, I drove down to Laguna Beach for my cousin's wedding. There were a couple hours to spare before the ceremony, so I took myself on a short hike at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to literally climb uphill. I did this in the dress I wore to the wedding, which was pretty hilarious (don't worry, I had proper footwear on). I only got a little dirty and slightly sweaty, so it was perfectly fine that I finished my hike, changed my shoes in the car, put on a blazer, and drove straight to the wedding venue. I did snag a few cool photos while I was hiking. It's no flower-covered Lake Elsinore, but it really was something. 

In other news: here's a rad playlist I made between episodes of Grey's Anatomy while dreaming about all the things I would do when I felt better again.

Matcha / Coconut / Tahini Bars
Yield: 12 bars

- 2 cup dates, packed
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 6 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon matcha powder, for dusting

  1. Prepare an 8"x 8" pan by lining it with plastic wrap. 
  2. In a medium bowl, soften the dates by soaking them in hot water for 5 minutes. 
  3. Strain the water from the dates and place them in a food processor. Pulse until the dates are paste-like. Then, add the coconut flakes, tahini, chia seeds, cocoa, and salt. Pulse until ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over mix the tahini or it will become difficult to work with. 
  4. Transfer the combined mixture into the plastic-lined pan and place in the freezer for 1 hour. 
  5. Once frozen, remove the square of date yumminess from the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut 12 small bars from the block. Then, sift the bars with matcha powder.
*To store: Layer the bars with parchment or wax paper and place in a sealed container. Store in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month (if you can get them to last that long). 


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Maira Gall