I have been crushing on a super health food lately…DATES! Do you eat dates? If you’re not familiar with these little dudes, pick up a package from your grocery store and check them out. Dates have a really high mineral content which is why they are known for helping with a variety of ailments. People often eat them to help with digestion and fiber intake, but check out this chart that displays just how awesome dates are and how they can help your health overall.
Dates can be prepared and enjoyed in a variety of ways. Recently I stuffed a batch of them with goat cheese and wrapped them with prosciutto and then baked them in the oven. The crowd went wild! Now I’m incorporating them into my granola bar recipe and they are the perfect sweet glue to hold the bars together. The recipe is pretty simple and the only baking required is when you have to toast the oats. I LOVE these bars because they are versatile as you can change up the nuts, the nut butter and the sweeteners every time if you choose. They are a great addition to a cup of coffee or tea in the morning or as a snack on the go. Enjoy!
- 1½ Cup of Rolled Oats
- 1 Cup of Pitted Dates, chopped roughly and packed tightly
- ¼ Cup of Honey
- ¼ Cup of Almond Butter, Creamy or Crunchy (use peanut butter if you prefer)
- 1 Cup of Almond Slices (use another kind of nut if you prefer)
- 1 TBSP of Cinnamon
- Toast the oats in the oven on 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. (Make sure to keep a close eye on the oats as they can burn fast.)
- In a saucepan on low heat, warm the almond butter and honey until blended together.
- While almond butter and honey are warming, process the dates in a small food processor. They should be very fine and sticky. The dates will roll into a ball like dough when ready.
- Place the almonds, dates and toasted oats in a large bowl. After the almond butter and honey have cooled a couple of minutes, pour mixture in and mix everything with your hands. Continue mixing everything thoroughly until the dates have separated and the consistency is even.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper inside of an 8x8 pan so that you're able to take it out easily later on.
- Scoop mixture onto the parchment paper and spread evenly across the pan. Make sure it's completely flat and even.
- Sprinkle top of granola evenly with the cinnamon.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.
- Once cooled and hardened, take the parchment paper and bars out of the pan. Place on cutting board, discard parchment and cut into 8-10 bars. Wrap each individual bar in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for the week.