I love having quick, healthy snacks at the ready during the week, but purchasing enough fruit and nut bars to last Lex and I can add up. I wanted to try to make my own, especially considering that our favorites only list 2-3 ingredients. With less than $10 spent on pitted dates and roasted cashew pieces at C’Ville Market I was able to make 16 large bars with only about 20 minutes of work. Another perk of making these at home is experimenting with new flavors!
Recipe (by weight):
3 parts Roasted, Unsalted Cashew Pieces (I’ve also used almonds or hazelnuts)
8 parts Pitted Dates
Pinch of sea salt
Use a food scale to measure out ingredients, then use a food processor to combine the dates and nuts:
Test the consistency by pressing some of the mixture in your hand; if you can form a small ball by compressing the mix then you’re good to go! At this point you can stop and proceed to making cashew nut bars, or you can add some additional flavors to your own taste. Some examples:
Pumpkin Spice Bars:
Your Favorite Pumpkin Spice Seasoning
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 Parts Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Part Finely Ground Coffee (or instant coffee crystals)
Add spice or cocoa powder and coffee to taste, pulsing a few times with each addition to distribute evenly. I tend to add about 1 tablespoon at a time until I’m happy with the flavor.
To Form Bars:
Empty mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and press into a solid ball. Shape the mixture into a roughly rectangular shape, then cover with additional parchment paper and use a rolling pin to smooth to an even height of about 1/4-1/2 an inch (if making pumpkin spice bars, press pumpkin seeds into the top for some added crunch):
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until firm (approximately 1-2 hours or longer), then use a sharp knife to cut into desired bar size. Store these in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator, and enjoy!