Raw Vegan Energy Bars with Walnut, Chia, Cherry & Pepita for Ida

The other night my husband and I were relaxing on the couch catching a bit of the late evening news before heading to bed.

I was drifting in and out of consciousness, as I am want to do in front of the tv, and just before fully transitioning to the other side, I caught of glimpse of Ida.  And I’m so glad I did.

Who is Ida you ask?

Ida is Ida Herbert.  A 96-year-old woman (remarkable in its own right) from Orillia, Ontario.  But it’s what Ida was doing that was really stunning…

It turns out that Ida, at the ripe young age of 96, also happens to be – now hold for it – a yoga instructor. Yup, that’s right folks. This incredible woman is still teaching yoga at the age of 96!

Her journey began in the 1940s – long before yoga came into vogue in the Western World – and it’s still going.

I was so inspired by Ida’s Story that I decided to dedicate these energy bars to her along with a little thank you – I’m calling it an ode to Ida (although it is not really meant to be sung):

Ode to Ida:
Ida, you are a force of life worthy of our calm consideration.  You remind us all of what it truly means to be healthy and whole – to see our minds and bodies not as separate entities at war with one another by rather intimately connected, each working for the other’s mutual benefit.  You’ve certainly mastered the idea of long-term commitment – not so easy in the face of a society consumed by collective impatience, quick fixes and unreasonable demands. And possibly most encouraging for all of us is how you model health and wellness in the form of strength, flexibility, vitality and resilience in stunning contrast to our society’s ubiquitous and ultimately doomed attachment to the term “skinny” to define health.

In short Ida, thank you.  I think you are magnificent!

(and, if I can track down your address, I will mail a box of these bars directly to you!  I think you will love them…)

Raw Vegan Energy Bars with Walnut, Chia, Cherry & Pepita for Ida
  • 1 cup raw walnuts or any other nut of choice
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (substitute pitted dates, figs or prunes)
  • 1/3 cup just nuts peanut or almond butter
  • 2 heaping Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, desiccated coconut
You can easily double the quantity of this recipe and play around with different ingredient choices as desired.

Once your ingredients are in place (mise en place) it will take you about 6 minutes to assemble these glorious bars.  Truly one of the best tasting and satisfying health bars our family has ever had.  I’m not sure I’ll ever buy another granola bar again!

Makes about 8 bars or 16 squares

Place walnuts in blender or food processor and blend for about 20 seconds or until nuts are fairly well ground.  Add cherries, peanut/almond butter, chia seeds and maple syrup blending until the entire mixture is well combined.  The mixture should be sticky – if it’s too dry, add a little bit more nut butter or vanilla essence or coconut oil to create moisture.

Meanwhile, place a piece of wax or parchment paper into a loaf pan (the pan should be in the range of  8″ x 4″) such that it hangs over the sides.

Remove mixture from blender and press it into the base of the loaf pan using the back of a spoon or other implement to flatten and smooth it down.

Sprinkle the surface of the mixture with pepitas and coconut, pressing down gently with your fingers so that they adhere to the surface.

Fold both sides of the hanging wax or parchment paper inward, one at a time, over the mixture and gently press down one last time with your hand on top of the paper resting over the mixture.

Place the pan in the fridge and allow the mixture to solidify somewhat into a singular slab for about 1 hour.  If you wish to accelerate the process, you can pop the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, but don’t forget to remove it and return it to the fridge.

When you’re ready to slice the bars, simply remove the pan from the fridge and gently elevate the slab by pulling up on the ends of the wax/parchment.

Slice the slab into bar shapes or squares as desired.  Store any remaining portions (good luck with that!) in the fridge.

It's only fair to share...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone


  1. justonecookbook says

    I just saw the video. OMG she’s more flexible than me!!! And how beautiful she is… she doesn’t look like 96! She’s such an inspiration! And your energy bars look healthy and delicious!

  2. SallyBR says

    Unreal! I just finished writing a post with a bit on yoga and a tribute to someone who is fit thanks to it… reading your post gave me a small shiver up and down the spine, oh virtual sister! ;-)

    I don’t know Ida but she already inspires me – my goal is to mimic her journey as much as possible, if I am lucky enough not to have any serious illness waiting around a corner.

    great energy bars, great tribute! (I bet Ida also drifts in and out of consciousness in front of the tv – great minds drift alike! ;-)

  3. says

    I heard about Ida…simply amazing. I’m not even in close to as good shape as her and I’m 1/3 her age :( Oh well, something to aspire to. These granola bars look so healthy and delicious…if I begin by eating healthier, maybe the rest will fall into place. Thanks, Kelly!

  4. says

    You bet I would never buy any granola bars if I lived nearby ;-) I would just pop in to ask if I can borrow some salt… Seriously, I have always been somehow dissappointed with granola and similar bars. These look extraordinary: quick and easy to prepare and perfect for my 5pm cravings. I will certainly try your recipe one day. I already have made my own modifications in my head (favourite prunes instead of cherries, half walnuts, half almonds… poppy seeds instead of the expensive chia I haven’t bought yet, almond butter because I like peanut butter only in savoury food, coconut stays, honey too… I think I would be tempted to shave dark chocolate inside too… Wait, I think I have all the ingredients at home! Luckily it’s 10pm because otherwise I would do them straight away.

  5. Sheri Chan says

    um, yummy, they look great, may try them for the boy to add to the school lunch box. Will let you know how they go over.

  6. says

    96 and teaching yoga? Wow! There are some remarkable people in this world. I make this kind of bar for the family every weekend, varying the ingredients and shapes so they don’t get bored. At least I know what they are eating when they snack.

  7. says

    96! Ida is amazing and such an inspiration! What a great ode for Ida and a delicious energy bar! Thanks for the great instructions on how to assemble these. I have everything but the chai seeds and I can make these without a kitchen!

  8. Kristy says

    You were right Kelly! I love this post. Just perfect. Oh to be doing yoga when I’m 96! That would just be marvelous. Fabulous granola bars. You are so inventive. And the ways you can turn all of these healthy ingredients into something so delightful…well, it’s genius. :) Now I’m suddenly in the mood for some yoga!

  9. ping kay says

    Wow! Yoga at 96! I can’t even touch my toes! Shame.
    Here’s to Ida, for without her, I wouldn’t have got to see these lovely health bars …and they’re so pretty.

  10. says

    What an inspiring story, Kelly; that’s the only way to live until 96! And these bars…totally YUM! I will definitely bboark to make when we return home in October. The Internet service is rather shoddy here in Budapest, which is frustrating. Hoping it will be better in Barcelona on Tuesday!

  11. inspirededibles says

    Yes, your sweetener of choice would go in the blender. Thank you – I’ll make that clarification in the post.

  12. inspirededibles says

    Haha, great minds drift alike – Sally, you’re awesome! I’m trying to mimic Ida’s journey too… She is one giant source of inspiration for all of us. Have a sunny day ;0).

  13. inspirededibles says

    You know what they say, if you do your scales and practise a little each day, all is possible… agreed about things coming together piece by piece – all is connected.

  14. Barb Bamber says

    I’m so impressed!! I was just telling Sally I could twist up like a pretzel at 34.. but here she is doing it at 96!! No more excuses for me! I love your recipe, I’ve been searching for a bar and hate all of the commercial ones out there! Yummers!!
    ps btw.. did you just switch over to self-hosted, or am I getting old…

  15. Eliotseats says

    Wow—I just sent this to my yoga instructor (who I hate to say I have not seen in months). Ida is sending me a message too! Get back to yoga! These bars sound delicious too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *