Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Date, cranberry and almond bars (1 colour)


I've recently become very interested in making energy bars that are both healthier and cheaper than those in the shops. My first attempts were simply with fruit and nuts, but I hope to add some more interesting ingredients like different grains and coconut in the near future.

I've made this recipe twice now and both times I had trouble breaking up the dates. The first time I tried chopping and then blending them, but they were far too hard for the blender. The second time I soaked the dates overnight first. Again the blender was unable to cut through them, but I was able to mash them with the back of a spoon. As you might expect the second batch turned out a lot more wet than the first. Both were delicious.

Ingredients
Pitted dried dates - 85 g, soaked in water or fruit juice overnight
Dried cranberries or a combination of dried cranberries and raisins - 65 g
Whole almonds - 100 g
Walnuts (whole or chopped) - 15 g
Honey - 3 tsp

Methods
1) Cut off four pieces of cling film and lie them on a flat surface. Admittedly I didn't do this first either time that I made the bars, but your hands do get very sticky so it's definitely advisable.
2) Put the almonds and walnuts in a blender and blend until they form crumbs.
3) Chop the dates and then mash with the cranberries and / or raisins. Add the nuts and mix well with a spoon. Add the honey (you might need a little more if you don't soak the dates) and mix together well.
4) Divide the mixture into four and use your hand to make it into bar shapes. Place on the cling film, wrap and refrigerate. Makes 4 bars.

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