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Wendy's Wunderbars
Wendy's Wunderbars Photo courtesy of Leo Gong

We knew we liked Rebecca Katz from the moment she told us that dark chocolate is healthy. In her new book, The Longevity Kitchen, Katz reveals research about antioxidant-rich foods such as dark chocolate, blueberries and sweet potatoes that boost long-term health--and taste good to boot. Her smart, easy recipes provide ample ideas for using all of these superfoods at home, but not surprisingly, we sampled the deeply chocolaty homemade energy bars first. The blend of antioxidant-rich dried cherries, dark chocolate and nuts promises plentiful health benefits (hello, breakfast bar), and we love that the recipe is entirely no-bake.

Makes 16 bars
Start to Finish: 1 hour 25 minutes (includes chilling time)

Ingredients

2 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 72% cacao), finely chopped

1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped

⅓ cup whole almonds, toasted

⅓ cup shelled unsalted pistachios

8 ounces Medjool dates, halved and pitted

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup dried cherries

Directions

1. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking pan. Cut two pieces of waxed paper so they are the same width as the pan and long enough to go up the sides and overlap across the top. Place one piece in the pan, then place the second piece on top of the first, facing the opposite direction.

2. In a metal bowl set over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the dark chocolate with the unsweetened baking chocolate. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almonds with the pistachios and pulse three or four times to coarsely chop. Add the melted chocolate, dates, vanilla and salt. Pulse the mixture until the ingredients begin to hold together like a loose dough. Add the cherries and pulse a few more times, until the cherries are coarsely chopped and evenly distributed.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press it into an even layer using your hands. Smooth the top with a spatula if needed. Cover the top of the mixture with a piece of parchment or waxed paper and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

5. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the edges of the waxed paper and place on a cutting board, still atop the waxed paper. Using an oiled knife to prevent sticking, cut into 16 squares. Put the bars in a container, with waxed paper between the layers if you are stacking them. (Alternately, you can wrap the bars individually in foil.) Store the bars in the refrigerator or freezer and warm to room temperature before serving.

 

Reprinted with permission from "The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods" by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Pick up The Longevity Kitchen for more healthy recipes.

  • Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these bars will keep for up to four days. Stored in the freezer, they will keep for up to two months.

  • Try another energy-bar recipe, like this one from The Food Network.

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