Cherry Vitamix Energy Bars

Cherry energy bar on cutting boardI had a big bag of dried cherries and was playing around with different uses for them, and I was surprised at how tasty these bars are. I started with my bare-bones larabar recipe, added cherries instead of dates, and then added chia seeds and rolled oats.

The chia seeds are there for a nutritional boost, while the oats add a nice subtle flavor, plus a little bulk. I was initially hesitant to use oats without cooking them, but it turns out that rolled oats are steamed, so they’re not actually raw, and many people eat them without ill effects.

For my first batch, I just blended all of the ingredients at once. However, many chia seeds remained whole. (I add whole chia seeds to smoothies and they blend up fine, but this is much thicker and blends for a shorter time.) It wasn’t a big deal, but seeds would get stuck in your teeth, and ground chia seeds are more nutritionally available than whole ones. The easy solution is to blend the chia seeds before adding the other ingredients.

I put the cherries above the chia and cashews so that they stick to the container less. Then the oats go on top so they blend less.

¼ cup chia seeds (40g)
1⅛ cup cashews (150g)
pinch of salt
1 cup dried cherries (150g)
cup rolled oats (70g)

Makes about 8 bars. (Batch size is for 3″ blade Vitamix container.)

First blend the chia seeds alone for a few seconds on high. Some of the chia meal will stick to the upper walls of the container. You can tap the container to knock some of it down, or use a spatula to push down more of it. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high, using the tamper to push the corners down when an air pocket forms. (You can tell because the motor will make a high-pitched whine.) Stop blending as soon as it comes together and darkens. If you over blend, it will get stickier.

In the past I put it directly from the container onto waxed paper, but sometimes it’s warm enough that it melts the wax and sticks. So now I press it into a brownie pan, chill it in the fridge, pop it out onto a cutting board, and then slice it into bars. I wrap the chilled bars in waxed paper and then store them in the freezer.

You can run a clean-out blend of anything that would benefit from the sweet nut mixture, so that you don’t have to worry about wasting any residue that gets stuck below the blades. There may be a bit that stays stuck under the blades even after a clean-out blend. The easiest way to get it out is to soak the container for 30–60 minutes, and then run a cleaning cycle with soapy water.

The chia seeds add some fat, which makes these a bit more oily than the past larabars. I think it makes the mixture slide out of the container more easily. I eat them from the wax paper so that my hands don’t get greasy, and I think the extra fat adds to the mouthfeel.

Between the dried fruit, oats, and chia seeds, it’s good to enjoy these with some water. They make a perfect snack for outings.

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Cherry Vitamix Energy Bars — 4 Comments

  1. Hello,

    I need a blender that is good at blending large quantities of dried fruit like dates or raisins. I regularly like to blend 400 or 500g of dates/raisins with water. (I am a very active, athletic person who needs a lot of calories.)

    Several weeks ago now, I bought an optimum 9200A, which somehow broke the second time I used it. It started blending but then stopped after a few seconds and then wouldn’t respond to anything anymore, couldn’t even turn it on anymore. I thought maybe it just needs to be reset but the reset button wasn’t on. Nothing could solve the issue. I, talked to froothie, sent it back and got replacement only for that one to have the very same problem the second time I used it as well… Then I told froothie about this and they said it’s extremely strange and they had never had a case like mine. They had fixed the first blender by this time by replacing the lead frame (which they believe was defective) so they sent that one back and told me they will organize to come pick up the second one. Then I got the first fixed one back, only for that one to have the same problem AGAIN after just a few uses!!! Froothie have told me they find this extremely strange, they have never had a case like this. Their mail-order will hopefully come this week and pick up both blenders.

    Froothie has now offered me to potentially give me a refund once they get both blenders but they have also offered me a G2.6 or a VAC2 vaccum blender.

    I wanted to ask you:

    1) Do you have any idea why the 9200A kept dying on me? Blending a lot of dates was never an issue for the $40 blender that I’ve had for years, so how could be for it when it costs hundreds?

    2) Do you think asking for a G2.6 or the vaccum blender would be a good choice for me?

    Thanks a lot for any reply!

    • I’m curious, how much water are you adding to your 400–500g of dried fruit? I haven’t ever tried to blending such a mixture. If you blend a very thick high-volume blend for more than a short time, there is a decent chance of overheating. I wrote about tips for avoiding overheating previously. I recommend reading that page.

      I haven’t tried a G2.6, and I’m not sure how it’s propensity for overheating compares. I have used and reviewed the VAC2. I doubt that it is too different from the 9200A in terms of overheating. I suspect that a Vitamix would be better, but keep in mind that there are physical limits, and it sounds like you’re getting close to them, so I can’t guarantee that a Vitamix would work for those blends.

      • Thanks for your reply. I always add a lot of water , always more than a liter and as I say, with the $40 blender that I’ve had for years, I’ve done this hundreds of times with no problems. It just doesn’t make the smoothie as smooth as I would personally like it to be. Why would a $40 blender be able to do something a much more expensive blender cannot? I’m not sure whether overheating was even the problem, as it was not hot when it died and that reset button (or whatever it’s called) was not on.

        • OK, with that much water, it does seem to me that this should be a doable blend.

          Since it happened three times in a row, I’m guessing that it is either an overheating or overloading problem for your blender.

          Here’s some speculation: I’m guessing the dried fruit starts at the bottom of the container (i.e. not floating). The start of the blend is going to be pretty high load because of all the solid/sticky dried fruit around the blades. This is a case where Froothie’s extra blades make it harder for the blender. (Traditional blenders and Vitamix blenders have a 4-pronged blade, but Froothie’s has 6 prongs.)

          So you could make it easier on the machine by starting with a small amount of dried fruit, and adding the rest once it gets blending. (Ideally through the hole in the lid with the blender running.) You also want to increase the speed to high as soon as possible.

          My guess is that a Vitamix would work better because of the 4 vs. 6 prongs, and because Vitamix machines are higher quality.

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