A staple of health food stores, date bars, or date logs, are actually incredibly easy to make on your own. All you need are four ingredients, a food processor or blender, and the willingness to get a little sticky while you make them. They're a great portable snack but also present so nicely that you can make them as a gift in lieu of chocolate or candy for your one obnoxiously healthy vegan friend. They're also gluten free and naturally sweetened. Your obnoxious healthy vegan friend will love that!
Nothing says Valentine's Day quite like making someone something just so you can post it on your blog. I'm certain that I've nailed the entire spirit of the holiday in that one sentence. I even wrote that in the card. The other thing that makes these date bars great for Valentine's Day is that up until the literal last minute they resemble cat vomit. I'm sure that there is a metaphor in there for those of you who hate this day. For those of you that love it, the end result is adorable little candy bars that are a perfect treat for someone special. Everyone wins!
Unlike homemade Lara Bars, these don't have any cashews or nuts. It's even easier. The end result is a super healthy energy treat, so while these do have a nice presentation that makes for an easy gift, we've also taken them camping, backpacking, hiking, etc. Once you've rolled them in coconut they lose their stickiness so you can grab them with your hands very easily. They do tend to smoosh, but don't completely loose their shape as long as you use a modicum of care.
So, ready to surprise someone with a sweet treat? Great. All you need are dates, lemon juice, coconut flakes, and almonds. Let's begin!
Quick, Easy Prep
Makes 8-10 Bars
What You Need:
1 1/4 cup Pitted Dates, Loosely packed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut flakes
Almonds, for decoration
Step One: In a food processor or blender, blend your lemon juice and dates. It's going to make a sticky, unattractive mess. See below.
Why yes, that does look like cat vomit.
Step Two: On a flat surface or plate, sprinkle out your coconut flakes.
Step Three: With clean hands, start to make a little log out of the date paste with your hands, about 2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. We will do a final 'shaping' at the end, so these don't need to be perfect yet. Once you're happy with the shape, roll the bar in the coconut flakes until it's fully coated, then put it to one side. Do this until you've used up all of your date paste. See below for a before/after.
We go from 'pile of vomit' to 'cat hairball' to 'Oh, that's starting to look more appetizing!'
Step Four: The last step involves putting your almonds on the top of each bar, and then gently pressing with your fingers until they take on a rectangular shape, much like a mini candy bar. The almonds will stick if you just gently push down on them.
All packaged up and ready for gifting!
There you go! Super easy. Keep these in the refrigerator so they maintain their shape. They should be good for 5-7 days, but I doubt that they will last that long.