Seedy Date Bars
A delicious superfoods snack for kids and their grown-ups. Recipe from Alton Brown.
(What? Did you think I was talking about where to meet Tinder hookups? People please, this is a kid friendly website.)
This is one of my favorite recipes in Alton Brown's EveryDayCook (2016). The cookbook is worth buying, but you don't have to. He has posted the recipe for these seedy date bars on his website here and I've altered it a little below.
These are easy to make and absolutely delicious!
These bars are a nutritious way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
1/2 cup pepitas or green pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds*
8 ounces pitted Medjool dates**
4 ounces dried apricots**
1 ounce crystallized ginger***
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1/2 orange)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Tips on buying the ingredients:
* Sesame seeds: Friends, DO NOT buy an expensive bottle of old sesame seeds off your regular grocery store spice rack. You can buy big bags of sesame seeds super cheap at Arab grocery stores like Nur Mediterranean Deli & Market in Raleigh, NC and at Indian Grocery Stores. My go-to Indian grocery is Around the World Market on Hillsborough Street at the Cary/Raleigh border.
** Medjool dates and dried apricots: these are available inexpensively at Arab grocery stores. I get mine at Nur.
*** Crystallized Ginger: this is very expensive if you buy it in little boxes in an American chain grocery store. I get mine in bulk from Green Bulk through Amazon and I use it in other recipes like this Fizzy Ginger Drink That Isn't So Sweet.
Ok, now that you know how to get the ingredients without spending an arm and leg, let's get down to the easy-peasy recipe instructions.
1. Set a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pepitas to the pan and cook, tossing occasionally for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the sunflower seeds and continue toasting for another 5 minutes. It's going to smell great.
2. Add the coconut, chia seed, flaxseed and sesame seeds, and toast for 3 minutes. The mixture should be fragrant and the sunflower seeds and coconut flakes lightly browned.
3. Combine the dates, apricots, ginger, orange zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend for about 1 minute total, in bursts, until blended and the mixture forms a thick paste. It might ball up in a ball. If it does, just stop and break up the ball, then continue.
4. Add the toasted seeds to the date mixture in the food processor and pulse 5 to 10 times or to desired consistency. I like to have very chunky bits of pepitas, coconut, and sunflower seeds in mine, so I take it easy on the processing.
5. Roll the seedy paste out on parchment paper or wax paper into a square or rectangle. I use a rolling pin to make it even.
6. Wrap the square up in the parchment or wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
7. Cut into bars and separate with the parchment or wax paper. I usually just keep the whole slab wrapped up in my fridge and cut off bars as I want them.
It doesn't take long to make a slab of this toasty seedy chewy goodness. They last a week at room temperature in an airtight container.