Long time readers of this blog may know that I am snack-challenged. I am not a snack food person myself so having kids who need to snack caused a bit of a revolution in my food preparation habits.
Since for the most part I shun packaged snacks and plain fruit can get a little boring after a while I am constantly on the search for easy snacks I can make which do not involve sugar (this is hard!!) or flour (also a challenge)!
Recently I wanted some sort of snack bar which was not oat-based and would be easy to take on the go and after looking through many online recipes I cobbled together this recipe. It is similar to a Lärabar and can easily be adapted to suit your tastes.
We call them Super Power bars — essential food for all budding Super Heroes.
2 cups nut of your choice
4 cups dates
2-4 TBSP natural nut butter (depending on stickiness of dates — see NOTES below)
2 TBSP raw honey (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
optional add-ins: 1 cup dark chocolate chips or coconut chips
- Line two 8×8 pans with parchment paper twice the size of the pan. The size of the pan is really not that important, if you want thicker bars use one pan, or use one larger pan. The mixture does not spread so you don’t even need it to fit exactly in the pan — in other words, use what you have.
- In a food processor, combine nuts, cinnamon and and add-ins ground until fine. Set aside.
- Next process half of the dates, nut butter and honey until it forms a ball in the processor. Then add 1/2 of the nut mixture and process until mixed. Dump mixture into one of the pans and using wet hands, press firmly into one of the pans. Fold paper over top and weigh down. The weighing down step is probably not necessary, but the advantage of using 2 pans is you can stack them.
- Repeat step 3 with the rest of the dates.
- Place pans in fridge for several hours. When firm cut into squares. Store in fridge.
- Dates are naturally very sweet, so these bars make great substitutes for cookies!
- I usually use walnuts since they are high in the Omega 3 ALA, but almonds, pecans or hazelnuts are also delicious choices.
- The best dates to use are the extra-sticky varieties like medjool but since the drier deglet variety is cheaper I use it.
- Please use a natural nut butter with no sugar added!
- Honey is optional because the sweetness is not necessary but raw honey has many benefits, and if your dates are on the dry side, it helps keep the bars together.
- Technically the cinnamon is optional, you can also try other spices like cardamon, ginger, cloves, etc.
- Unfortunately, I don’t think it would be possible to make these without the help of a food processor, but if you have other ideas, leave a comment below so others can experiment.
- I’ve read anecdotes about the importance of soaking and dehydrating nuts, but no scientific studies. If you are inclined to soak and dehydrate your nuts before using, I don’t see any reason why you can’t.