These date snack bars are easy, ready in 5 minutes, require no cooking, are full of healthy nuts, and taste like coffee. What more could you want, really?
When I first starting eating clean, and reading my ingredient labels, snacks that fit into my new way of eating were tough. Whole30 was still fairly new, and the only Whole30 book that existed at that time was the original, It Starts With Food.
And that's just the official Whole30 branded books. There's an endless collection of blogs, recipes, and resources out there to help you get through your Whole30. (If you're looking for Whole30 resources on this site, you can find them here.)
Now, when I first started Whole30 way back when, pre-made snacks were not off limits. Nowadays, they strongly recommend you don't eat them, for a couple of reasons:
- They are mostly dates, so technically loaded with sugar.
- They are a convenience food, and can be a bad habit trigger for some people.
Number 1, I can't really dispute. It's true. Dates are super sweet, and Whole30 focuses heavily on slaying the sugar dragon, if you have one.
Number 2, also true. HOWEVER. I'm a big proponent of making the best choice possible in the current situation. Now let's just say you are on a Whole30. Things are going swimmingly, and then your car breaks down. The only things near you are a gas station and a McDonalds. The tow truck is going to be there in 2 hours, and you forgot to eat lunch.
I would much rather you have a pre-made, pre-packaged Lara Bar in your bag to pull out in case of emergency rather than walk to McDonalds and throw the whole thing down the drain.
See what I'm saying?
Anyway, the best alternative to pre-packaged date bars is making your own date snack bars. I like to put a little twist on flavors and make them non traditional, and my two favorite date snack bar recipe options are these Nutty Espresso Bars and my Sweet & Spicy Date Bars.
Just look at all those nuts. Nom nom nom.
Don't worry. I didn't put it back like that - I went ahead and ate the whole thing.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 ½ cups pitted deglet noor dates
- 2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 Tablespoons water
- Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to break up a bit.
- Add the walnuts to the almonds and pulse 3-4 times more.
- Add the dates, espresso powder, and 1 tablespoon of the water, then pulse repeatedly until the mixture begins to come together. If it isn't coming together, add the second tablespoon of water and pulse a few more times.
- Once you have a sticky "ball", stop. This is where you want it! (If you over combine, they will get too sticky and will be a mess to eat.)
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and add the date mixture to the pan.
- Using a second sheet of parchment paper, press the mixture evenly throughout the pan, smoothing out the top.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Store in a tupperware in the fridge with parchment paper in between.
Bars will be sticky at first! Refrigerating them (or sticking them in the freezer if you're really impatient) will allow them to firm up a bit and make them easier to cut.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 241Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 4gSugar: 13gProtein: 6g