Here’s another healthy snack to add to your rotation beside these Granola Bars. This recipe is so easy, you can get it done in about 20 minutes on Sunday night before bed time. And by Monday morning, you’ll have your healthy snack ready for the whole week. We are still trying to keep up with the healthy eating streak over here. Although lately I feel like I’ve been a lot more lenient if we stray of the path just a bit.
Funny things, we went out for yakitori last weekend and everything seemed just a bit saltier than usual. I can definitely feel the effect of a low sodium diet now (damn!). Don’t get me wrong though, it was still super tasty, just catching myself drinking a lot more tea and eating a lot more cabbage in between bites of yakitori. I also ordered a salmon flake onigiri (rice ball), and it felt weird to eat white rice… again, the effect of getting used to eating brown rice.
We eat rice almost every day and I loved my white rice (still do!). I thought it would be really difficult to switch to brown rice, but you just have to find the right kind of brown rice for you, one you can tolerate at first and learn to love over time. That sounds kind of terrible… you might ask what’s the point of forcing ourselves to eat something we don’t truly enjoy? But this is the way I see it, you eat better, you live better. And if you’re healthier, one donut isn’t going to kill you. However, if you’re not, you will have to be a lot more careful with what you eat, plus you’ll always feel guilty for eating something you know you shouldn’t have. And that’s not fun!
So I guess the moral of the story is, get healthy so cookies can become a treat and not a guilt-trip! 😛
Alright, here’s the recipe for these date bars, which is adapted from Alton Brown’s Seedy Date Bars.
- 8 oz pitted dates
- 4 oz dried apricots
- 1 oz crystallized ginger
- Zest from 1 small orange
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Line an 8”x8” pan with parchment paper to cover the bottom and all 4 sides.
- Combine the dates, apricots, ginger, orange zest and salt in the food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until a thick paste forms, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Add the pepitas to a large skillet and toast over medium heat for 1 ½ minutes, tossing occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Add the sunflower seeds to the pan and toast together with the pepitas for another 5 minutes, stirring with the wooden spoon.
- Add coconut flake, chia seeds, flaxseed, and sesame seeds to the pan and toast for another 3 minutes, continue stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be fragrant and lightly browned.
- Add the toasted seed mixture to the date mixture in the food processor and pulse until desired consistency is achieved.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared lined pan, press into an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hour or overnight.
- Lift the parchment paper from the pan to remove the date bar, cut into 12 bars. Wrap each bar in plastic and store in an airtight container in the fridge.