Recipe for Date & Hazelnut Snack Bars from Busylittlefoodie’s Grace Brady!
If you’re like me, the bottom of my bag, the floor and inside door of my car and pockets of hoodies are all likely places to find a snack bar wrapper. Flakes of dried up oat crumbs scattered about the place like I’m feed the birds tuppence a bag lady from Mary Poppins.
Don’t get me wrong. All those oat bars and flapjacks are grand. Tasty even but they’re dry, leave me hungry an hour later, add to the packaging overhaul, are expensive and just a bit boring. I’m always trying to find tastier ways to fill the hunger pangs, especially when I’m in a rush but in the last few months, it’s also been really important to me to reduce what I throw away and just make things a bit simpler.
So these babies are my tastier, cheaper, one-off packaging-be-gone answer. Dates are awesomeness. Not only do they taste great but transform so easily into a yummy fudge dessert. They are nutrient rich and even though they have natural sugars, when combined with the rest of the ingredients in these tasty bars, are a winner as a snack. Once you have the date and rice base, you can add whatever other nuts and dried fruits you have on hand. Easy!
6 cups rice crispies
2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used raisins and cranberry mix)
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup mixed seeds (sunflower/sesame/pumpkin)
1/2 cup of flaked almonds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups of dates
2 cups of cold water
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
In a heavy based pot, add the dates and cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 mins until the dates are completely softened to a paste. Give it the odd stir and add a bit more water if necessary half way through. Once done, add the coconut oil and vanilla essence and stir through. You should end up with a sticky paste like set honey.
In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix through to distribute everything. Add the date mix and stir thoroughly, coating all the ingredients in the date mix. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and pour the mix into into. Using the back of a spoon, press the mix firmly into the tray-the more you squash it down, the stronger the snack bars will be. Put it into the freezer overnight. Take out and slice into bars. This makes about 24 big bars or 36 to 48 smaller ones. They’re filling too! Wrap each one in a strip of greaseproof paper (reusable for the next batch) or store in containers.
These are gluten and dairy free for anyone with allergies and are perfect to eat straight from the freezer or later in the day. They keep for up to three months in the freezer but my batch, made while I was at home, lasted all of one week.