Prep time, 10 minutes / Cook time, five minutes / Total time, 15 minutes
— 1 heaping cup packed dates, pitted
— 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
— 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
— 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped (see instructions for roasting nuts)
— 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
— optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
How to make it
1 – Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about one minute). It should form a dough-like consistency.
2 – Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw.
3 – Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
4 – Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
5 – Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
6 – Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. (You can use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.)
7 – Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
8 – Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or nine squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
Nutrition Information Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 217 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 6 g