When I lived in LA I had a lot of rituals. They were mostly self-indulgent rituals that I took very seriously since I knew I had a time stamp on my time in LA. One such ritual I never missed. Every Friday I would meet a very close friend for lunch at Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont in Hollywood.
I was “getting it out of my system” is what I told myself, knowing that too soon I’d ride off into the humid haze that is Miami. Cafe Gratitude was the place for me. I love Rawvolution and Planet Raw and I loved all the little hole-in-the-wall cafes but Cafe Gratitude was the place I took everyone to show off healthy eating, proving that it could be satisfying, delicious, and pleasant. Even my father enjoyed his meals there!
One of the treats that I would indulge in was this bar–I don’t even have a name for it–that was so magnificently simple and delicious that I fantasized about it once I left. Once I arrived in Miami I started making a knock-off imitation bar as a tribute to my time on Larchmont. And thus, the Larchmont Bar was born.
My SO is a very active guy and when he starts eating the foods I make for him he loses a lot of weight. Though I think he looks particularly great he tends to prefer bulk. So I’ve developed these bars, mainly, for him. I like to nibble on them every once in awhile because they are delicious but they are a little too calorie-dense for me.
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 cup dates, soaked 20 minutes
- Soak the nuts and seeds ahead of time, for at least a couple hours.
- Peel and pit the dates and put them in a food processor. Add some of the soak water and process until a paste is formed. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sea salt and process. Scoop the paste out and place in a large bowl.
- Put the nuts and seeds into the food processor and pulse until everything is broken down but still chunky. Dump the mixture into the bowl with the paste.
- To the bowl, add any raisins, cranberries, mulberries, goji berries, etc. I just grabbed handfuls of what I had on hand, at about 1/4 cup each.
- Add the cacao nibs and shredded coconut to the bowl, if using.
- Using a spatula, mix everything until well incorporated and sticky.
- Dump the contents into a bread loaf pan lined with parchment paper and press down.
- Set aside.
- First, make sure everything you are using is completely dry. Any amount of water will cause the chocolate to seize. Also, make sure everything is room temperature. If anything is cold it will cause the chocolate to harden a bit and may make it difficult to create a smooth sauce.
- Place everything in a small bowl and, using a fork, mix everything until well incorporated.
- Pour the ganache over the nut mixture, above and spread until evenly covered.
- Place in the freezer for a few hours to harden and then in the fridge overnight. Once everything is firm pop it out of the bread pan and slice to serve.