Date bar recipe made with fruit, nuts, quinoa, coconut and seeds.
My first foray with a date bar was with a shop bought Nakd bar. Before I go on, I should confess to having a little addiction which I’ve not yet addressed – I read labels. I see it as a good thing, my partner sees it differently and says I take three times longer to do the shopping than he does.
So there I was, reading the ingredients when I noticed that the first ingredient was dates and the other three or four ingredients were all natural too. I flipped the package over, searching for the preservatives, additives and other nasties. There weren’t any. And that was the end … or so I thought.
One day I was perusing the shelves of an Asian supermarket for obscure items like pomegranate molasses and rose buds and I saw this great big slab of date paste. Immediately I remembered the Nakd bar and once I’d read the packaging, (not that I can read any more than two words in Arabic) I bought one packet (a kilo for £1.99) and decided to make my very own protein packed high energy bars for our cycling outings.
I’ve made several test versions and believe this recipe is my best so far and one which I’m happy to share.
It includes our home-grown organic quinoa (that’s me below with the quinoa, isn’t it gorgeous?) and poppy seeds which give a fantastic crunch.
Makes 25 pieces – approximately 34g each
500g date paste
50g quinoa (uncooked)
50g desiccated coconut
50g yellow raisins /sultanas
50g dried cranberries
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
A small handful of lightly crushed pistachios, yellow raisins/sultanas, cranberries and desiccated coconut.
Cut the date paste slab into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
Chop the dried fruit into small pieces using a knife or a food processor.
Then, smash the nuts in a pestle and mortar until you have a coarse crumble.
Next, add all the ingredients to the date paste and mix thoroughly using your hands or a food processor until it forms a big ball. It should feel dry rather than sticky, but if it’s too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water and if it’s too sticky, go for a shake of desiccated coconut.
Line an 8” square cake tin or any dish with straight sides with baking parchment or cling film.
Dust paper or film generously with desiccated coconut to ensure that the snacks are easy to handle once cut.
Tip the mix into the lined and dusted tin, then press gently until evenly spread.
Sprinkle the top with roughly chopped nuts, a dusting of coconut and a scattering of cranberries and sultanas and press lightly.
Place in the fridge to chill for about 2 hours then cut into 25 pieces to give snacks which will weigh 30 – 35 g each.
Toss the cut edges in desiccated coconut to reduce stickiness when handling.
Now you’re ready to eat your raw, gluten free, vegan date bars.
And here’s me cycling among some date palms in Morocco