Hey everyone; hope you’re all well and for those this side of the pond hope you had fun messing around in the snow!!
So along with building snowmen, snowball fights, movie afternoons and A LOT of pizza; I also managed to get some baking in too.
These Date and Walnut Granola Bars are the perfect snack for munching on when you need an energy kick and they were a massive hit in our house, just remember to hide them somewhere safe if you have kids; mine loved these and they didn’t last as long as I would have liked, I’m also pretty sure the hubby munched his way through a fair amount too.
I’ll admit, I struggle to eat dates whole and on their own but date puree or dates chopped up in cakes, energy balls and muffins are incredible. They give the perfect level of sweetness to treats and desserts and they have so many health benefits, I wish I’d discovered how versatile they could be sooner.
As well as relieving constipation and supporting bowel movements, they’ve also been shown to reduce blood pressure, aid in iron deficiency, reduce hemorrhoids and the creme de la creme of benefits which I saved for last – while researching the health benefits of dates I came across the following study. study performed by researchers at the University of Science and Technology set out to discover how the date fruit impacted labour parameters and delivery outcomes. After studying 69 women for a year and 1 month, the researchers found that “the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial.”
So here it is, feel free to play around with the recipe, swapping out the walnuts for other nuts if you wish.
- 1 cup of walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- 3 cups of rolled oats
- 3/4 cup of runny natural honey
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground allspice
- 1 cup of date puree / I used one cup of dates and added two tablespoons of almond milk and blitzed this up in the blender. Don’t worry about getting the mixture smooth, I promise the lumps will add to the flavour.
- 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 160°C or gas mark 3
- Grease and line a 20cm square or rectangular baking tray
- Mix the nuts, oats, sunflower seeds in a large bowl
- Blitz up one cup of pitted dates with two tablespoons of almond milk. If you’re not concerned with dairy free; normal milk is just as good ( I know the pack will say they’re pitted but its worth squeezing them between your fingers to check for any stones that made it through the pitting process before you blitz them. (speaking from an unfortunate experience, trust me there is nothing worse than an entire batch of bars ruined because one stone got through, plus the risk of choking and your teeth will thank you for it.
- Over a low heat add the coconut oil and honey together until the oil has completely melted and add the spices and date puree
- Remove from the heat and mix into the oat mixture until all the mixture is combined
- Place the mixture into your tray and flatten down with the back of a metal spoon and place in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes to ensure they don’t brown too much on top.
- Allow to cool before slicing into bars and place on a wire rack to cool more. They’ll also harden up as they cool.
- These can then be stored in an airtight container for up to a week, but I promise they won’t last a week once you try them.