Quickie Breakfast Bars

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I think almost everyone loves a granola/breakfast bar. Most of the recipes I have read all have honey and/or peanut butter. I love both ingredients, dearly. I just don’t want to have to add extra calories to get my bars to stick together. Then…there…were…dates! I don’t think I have actually eaten a date before I made this recipe. Well, now I have and I have a new found love for the plum date family. At first bite, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them on their own, but dates really can add so much to a variety of dishes. Dates are slightly sweet, 100% sticky, and full a healthy nutrients. Caution, if this your first time taking a bite of these delicious morsels, there is a pit in the middle. Don’t forget to remove them before they are in your blender (personal lesson learned 🙂 ).

I really like making my own snack bars for a few reasons. They are cheaper to make than buy at the store, no added chemicals, so many combinations to choose, and soooo easy to make. Every home needs a quick snack to grab on the go. These bars freeze and thaw perfectly, you can make plenty in advance. Or they will last at least at least week, if you don’t eat them all before then.

First, start toastin’ your nuts! I used hazelnuts and almonds. Whatever your nut preference, just make sure you toast 1cup. Stir occasionally and don’t let them burn. No one likes burnt nut. Once you can start to smell the nutty fragrance, add the coconut. I used shredded, unsweetened.IMG_1509

Next, de-st-royyyy (mmmwah-ha-ha) the dates and figs. I have a ninja blender that works great. Pulse them together until you get a sticky paste. Add the freshly grated ginger to the mix.

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This is your glue, no peanut butter, honey or added sugar! Next, add flax seeds, wheat germ and give it a whirl to combine. Then add in all of your toasted nuts.

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Continue to pulse until everything is combined. The ninja will literally liquify everything, so I only pulsed it a few times. I still like to have a few chunky pieces in my bars. Dump the mix into a lined baking vessel and press flat. I used the bottom side of my 1cup measuring cup to press evenly.

IMG_1514Once you have the thickness of bars you desire, you can pull the entire liner out of the baking sheet. Cut into bars, squares, or triangles! Add the sesame seeds on both sides to cut down on the stickiness. Surpassingly once I topped them with the sesame seeds, they weren’t sticky at all. IMG_1525Now you have a delicious, easy and guilt free treat for on the go or anytime you want to enjoy.

8oz Dates – pits removed
4oz Dried Figs
1tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
1/2c Almonds
1/2c Hazelnuts
1/2c Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
2T. Ground Wheat Germ
2T. Flaxseed
2T. Sesame Seeds – reserved until the end

Instructions:

  1. Toast almonds and hazelnuts on medium heat until you being to smell them. Add, coconut flakes and toast a few more minutes.
  2. Pulse together dates, figs, and ginger until it forms a paste.
  3. Add the wheat germ to the date mix, pulse to combine.
  4. Add the cooled toasted nuts to the date mix, and the flax seeds. Continue to pulse until a chunky, but incorporated mixture is formed.
  5. Line a baking dish or pan with parchment paper. Dump the date/nut mix onto the lined sheet and press out flat.
  6. Pull the liner with the pressed mix out of the pan to lay flat on the counter top.
  7. Cut the bars into whatever shape your favorite granola bar shape is.
  8. Sprinkle about 1T. of sesame seeds on each side of the bars