I like to call these ‘everything but the kitchen sink energy bars’ since they have a little bit of this and that — dried dates, pecans, peanuts, almonds, peanut butter, dried coconut flakes, and cocoa powder. The dates are the “glue” that hold these bars together. There is no other added sugars or sweeteners, just the natural sweetness from the dates. The peanut butter adds a nice nutty flavor, but you could easily substitute other nut butters (like cashew, almond, or even tahini).
I like to pack a bar for long bike rides, hikes, or runs. They are so incredibly easy to make and require no baking; just throw all the ingredients into a food processor and mix to incorporate. Then form them into bars, and they’re ready to go. You can easily mix up the flavors by adding different combinations of spices (such as cinnamon, pumpkin spice), extracts (such as mint, vanilla), or just about any combination of seeds, nuts, or dried fruit.
Happy running, biking, swimming, hiking, rowing…
Makes 8 bars (each ~3 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/2)
12 dried dates, seeded
1 cup chopped nuts, used combination of peanuts, pecans, and almonds
1/2 cup dried coconut
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or tahini, almond butter, cashew butter)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Add dates to food processor and process to smooth paste. Combine the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until evenly incorporated (do not overmix).
Line a 9×9 pan with plastic wrap. Transfer date mixture to the pan. Flatten mixture and place plastic wrap on top. Spread out mixture, so that it is about 1/2 inch in thickness. Press against the corners of the pan to form square edges. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. Cut into individual bars.
Will keep longer if stored in the refrigerator.