This recipe post has FOUR variations for making date nut bars. I don't want to overwhelm you with endless possibilities, but every variation in this post is AMAZING. They kind of remind me of cookie dough but better. How is this possible!!
Normally, I do some recipe development before writing and shooting a recipe because the recipes are rarely perfect the first time around. Well, these date nut bars were perfect the first time around. I tested different nut combinations to find the best one, and it turns out each nut combination had its own unique flavor. So, I've included all nut combinations in this post (with tons of photos).
Why I Love This Recipe
My first date bar was a Larabar, which is a common well-known package date bar in the US. I used to eat them all of the time, especially while I was pregnant. Now that we live in Abu Dhabi, I can't seem to find Larabars anywhere. Abu Dhabi has an extraordinary selection of dried dates, so I thought why not make my own homemade Larabar.
And I'm so glad that I did because they are better than a Larabar. I think that's because the dates I use taste more like caramel and the flaked sea salt adds some salty tones.
- Dates: Medjool and Sukkari dates are my favorites to use for these bars. Medjool dates will yield a darker bar color, whereas Sukari dates will yield a more caramel color bar.
- Nuts: I tested the following nuts: walnuts, pistachios, cashews with macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts with blanched almonds.
- Sea Salt: I prefer flaked sea salt because the texture goes really well with these date nut bars.
Pistachio Date Bars
For some reason, these bars turned out the stickiest of the 4 variations. So, I also made these into pistachio date nut balls and rolled them in crushed pistachios. Oh my goodness, if I had to describe these in words it would be cookie dough date truffle balls.
Walnut Date Bars
Of all the 4 variations, these were the most robust. You can play with the nut ratio a little more to make these bars thicker.
Cashews and Macadamia Date Bars
I chose to combine cashews and macadamia nuts because I thought the flavors would go nicely together. Cashews have a milder taste than the macadamia nuts, so they compliment each other really well. These date nut bars came second (behind the pistachio date nut bars) in softness.
Blanched Almonds and Hazelnut Date Bars
I'm not going to lie, I had blanched almonds and hazelnuts on hand that needed to get used. I really hate wasting food, so I thought to use these up. These were excellent! I'm going to try adding some dark chocolate next time to these date nut bars.
Tips for Making These All Natural Bars
- Use a food processor. You can't make these in a blender (unfortunately), so you will need a food processor.
- Use parchment paper. These date nut bars can get a little sticky (like cookie dough), so parchment paper really helps when forming these into bars.
- Make sure the dates are not too dry or too sticky. Dried dates come in many ways
- Don't forget to remove the pits. Dried dates have a pit in the middle that needs to be removed prior to making this recipe.
- Use flaked sea salt (if possible). I highly recommend flaked sea salt because of its texture. If you don't have flaked sea salt on hand, you can use any other salt.
What Are The Best Dates For These Bars?
Any dried dates are suitable for this recipe, however the consistency of the dried dates matter. If you have really dried Medjool dates (or any other type), soak the dates in some warm water for 5 minutes. On the other hand, if you have really sticky dates (like Sukkari dates), don't soak! In fact, you might have to add more nuts to make the bars a little more robust. I don't mind my bars being a little soft, so I keep the ratios as outlined in this recipe post.
How To Pit Dates
Squeeze the date in the middle breaking it into two pieces. Remove the hard pit in the middle of the date.
Want Some Other Date Recipes?
- Strawberry Smoothie with Banana (and Dates)
- Date Filled Cookies Recipe (Ka'ak Asawer)
- Healthy Oatmeal Banana Pancakes (sweetened with dates)
- Almond Milk
- Detox Green Smoothie With Spinach
- Cookie Dough Date Nut Balls
- Blueberry Kale Smoothie
- Pomegranate Smoothie