I’m so excited about this recipe. I’ve been trying to make nutritious, no-added-sugar cereal bars for a good year or so, and I have FINALLY cracked it! The Roommate likes to take one to work as a snack and I like to have one for breakfast, but neither of us like coconut, peanut butter or nuts particularly, and almost every recipe I’ve seen has at least one (if not all three!) of these. Queue lots of testing, several batches that went tits up, and a Eureka moment.
These bars are so, so good – they are oaty, chewy, moist, sweet and packed full of goodness. They’re raw, gluten free and vegan too, if that’s your jam (obviously using untoasted and/or gluten free oats).
Ingredients (12 servings)
- 250g pitted dates
- 275g quick cook oats
- 3 tbsps linseeds/flaxseeds
- 2 tbsps chia seeds
- 150g raisins
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- Soak dates in 250ml of water for several hours or, ideally, overnight.
- (Optional) Toast oats, linseeds and chia seeds in a hot oven for several minutes.
- Pulse oats and seeds in a processor for 5-10 seconds; oats shouldn’t be ground too fine.
- Combine oats and seeds with raisins in a mixing bowl.
- Blend dates (including the liquid they’ve soaked in) in a processor with the cashew butter for a minute or two, until a smooth paste.
- Combine date paste with the oat and raisin mix, until well combined.
- Line a container with cling film, add mixture and firmly press down, getting into all the corners.
- Chill in fridge for 10-15 minutes, then remove from container and cut into 12 bars.
The brilliant thing about these bars is that you can sub in other ingredients that maybe you prefer, or just have to hand – any kind of nut butter would work fine, and you could definitely experiment with different seeds and dried fruit. The main thing is that the quantities stay roughly the same; the biggest problem I found when trying to get this recipe right was that the bars were too crumbly and didn’t stick together. With these quantities of blended dates and nut butter, the finished bars hold together beautifully and have a lovely chew to them.
Nutritionally, these bars come out at about 200 calories a piece, with nearly 6g of fibre and about 20g of sugar; however, that sugar is all coming from natural fruit sources, rather than processed and refined sources.