You may have heard of Nakd bars – they have inundated supermarket shelves up and down the country and found their rightful place amongst the quickest growing section : health foods. And along with this growing section, including things like gluten free cornflakes (Kelloggs Corn Flakes were already gluten free), the vast array of health foods and ‘free from’ products probably make up one of the biggest areas in terms of profit.
It seems to me that most of these so called healthy convenience products are just normal foodstuffs repackaged and branded for a particular market with certain ingredients omitted that weren’t necessary to start with. With the hyper inflated prices to cater for a growing market of food intolerant people, they really are a ‘win win’ for the manufacturers and supermarkets alike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for choice and availability – as that is especially good if you have an unconventional diet for health reasons, just don’t think you can’t make any of this stuff at home with a few basics.
Items such as ground almonds, rice flour, nuts, tahini, cornmeal, tapioca flour, seeds, coconut oil etc. will stand you in good stead when trying to replicate normal dishes, cakes, pastry or biscuits on a restricted diet.
I can understand the anxiety that some people may have dealing with a possible food intolerance or allergy and consequently buy into the whole range of suitable products, but as I’ve found over the years, it’s really not that difficult to cater for a ‘special diet’ once you have a toolbox of basic ingredients. Whilst I admit that some things sold in these sections are very worthwhile and are reasonably priced, (the basics mentioned above are amongst those falling into this section) there are a few convenience items that would be incredibly easy to make at home. Nakd bars are one such product. They are expensive to buy, easy to make and have easy to acquire ingredients.
Nakd bars are one of my preferred treats when shopping hungry (I do pay for it at the checkout by giving the empty packaging to the checkout person). It’s like a 30 minute interest free credit. I’d have to admit to doing the same with pork pies occasionally.
My son Ben and I like these Nakd bars quite a lot and he was taking them to school for a while as a little healthy snack. You’d have to agree that’s it’s a good alternative to crisps, biscuits or regular chocolate bars for obvious reasons, but also carries a premium price because it’s in the ‘free from’ section. I get around this by making batches at home in the food processor.
Nakd have been very generous giving not only the ingredient list (required by law of course) but also the percentages of each component.
A little bit of maths will give you the quantities of each ingredient and then it’s just a simple case of putting the whole lot into a food processor and whizzing up for a few minutes.
INGREDIENTS ( for 500g or around 14-15 bars)
145g cashew nuts
85g raisins or sultanas
30g cocoa powder
a few drops of edible orange oil(optional)
a bit of water to bring it all together at the end.
- Add nuts, dates and raisins to the food processor bowl and pulverise until all broken up and even.
- You may have a pulsing option on your food processor so you don’t have to keep turning on for a few seconds and then off again; you can just keep hitting the pulse button repeatedly until you have a good even consistency.
- Add a dessertspoon of water and leave to process for a good few seconds until it all starts to come together, be patient and add a bit more water if necessary.
- Take out of bowl and form together into a solid ball.
- Roll out onto some greaseproof paper with a layer on top and bottom and when at 5-10mm thickness cut into soldiers.
- These should keep for about a week and probably longer. – about 3 days in our house! (Matthew)