It is possible to find cashew nuts that have been shelled in other ways, without using heat, but it is a more expensive process. Many manufacturers therefore choose regular cashews even when they are making what they consider to be a raw food bar.
Pasteurization is a process that heats food to high temperatures, close to boiling point, to kill bacteria and preserve the food. Food that has been pasteurized is not raw.
Some even contain roasted peanuts or regular peanut butter made from roasted ingredients. In fact, if you read the label, you will often find that a raw food bar only contains 50% to 60% raw ingredients. That is not what most people following a raw food diet would want to eat.
However, you can quite easily make a nut-based raw food bar yourself. Take 4 cups of raw nuts* and 8 fresh medjool dates, plus one teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Chop or grind 1 cup of the nuts in a food processor, add half the pitted dates and process again, then another 1 cup nuts, then the rest of the dates. Keep processing after every time you add something. Add another 1 cup of nuts, then lemon juice, and finally the last cup of nuts.
When the mixture is done, you can add dehydrated fruits whole if you want. To have a chocolate flavor, mix in raw cacao powder plus a little agave nectar or other raw sweetener. Then form into bar shapes and refrigerate.
Raw nuts include: most filberts/hazelnuts, cashews from specialist raw food suppliers, most walnuts, brazil nuts in shells, most almonds from outside the USA
In most countries, there is no law that says that a product marked ‘raw’ must be 100% raw, live food, never treated at temperatures above 118 degrees F. The word ‘raw’ is often used to mean something that still needs some cooking, like a bread mix, or nuts that have not been roasted for taste, etc. The ingredients of a bread mix would not really be raw.
Therefore, unfortunately virtually anything could be labeled a ‘raw food bar’. It probably has some raw ingredients and does not contain raw sugar, so it may be healthier than a sugary snack. There may also be some that are truly 100% raw – check labels. In most cases, if you want a truly raw food bar you will need to make your own.