What do you think of a snack that can also double as dessert? What if that dessert is actually healthy and not sickly loaded with added sugars? These Chocolate Chip Cashew Date Bars might fit the bill!
These bars make a great snack between meals, or as I suggested above, they are a great dessert option, too. Even just half a bar is enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. It will make you wonder how it could possibly be healthy when it tastes so sweet.
I like having a bar for breakfast with some yogurt, or maybe some fresh fruit. It offers some variety to the first meal of the day and isn't too heavy to eat either. Another bonus...it doesn't require a dish or a utensil! No bowl and spoon needed! I can just grab one from the container and eat. Easy peasy.
Like my Chocolate Chip Date Nut Bars, these Chocolate Chip Cashew Date Bars use simple ingredients. All the sweetness comes from the dates...no added sugars. Then the chopped nuts give the bar substance and something to chew on. The chocolate chips are for... Well, they're chocolate chips...no need to explain why they're in the bars! A bit of vanilla gives the bars a bit of a cookie dough sort of taste, and finally, a pinch of salt enhances all the other flavors. That's it.
The recipe is called Chocolate Chip Cashew Date Bars, but like most recipes, there is room for playing around. Use different nuts if cashews aren't your thing. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, or a combination would all work. Substitute an equal portion of chopped nuts for pepitas or sunflower seeds. Add in 2-3 tbs of chopped dried fruit (just reduce the chopped nuts by the same amount). Skip the chocolate chips altogether...but why in the world would you want to do that??
So get in the kitchen and whip up a batch of these bars. Have them for breakfast, as a snack, or as dessert. Sweet and healthy in a bar...who would have thought? Try them out and leave a comment letting me know when you enjoy eating them!
Chocolate Chip Cashew Date Bars
- If dates seem dry and hard, soak for 10-20 minutes in warm water, until they are softer. Squeeze out extra liquid from dates and reserve liquid.
- Chop up dates until it is like a thick paste. Mix with chopped cashews. Add vanilla. (If you've got a food processor to chop up the dates into a paste, go for it!)
- If mixture seems too dry, add reserved dates water, 1 teaspoon at a time until mixtures sticks together but is not too wet.
- Mix in chocolate chips.
- Press firmly into parchment-lined pan. Pack down compactly.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Remove from refrigerator and cut into bars. Store in a sealed container (or wrap individually) in the fridge.
- Try different nuts in your bars, like almonds, walnuts, pecans...or do a combination as long as the total amount equals 1 ¼ cups of nuts.
- Substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips.
- Substitute some of the nuts for pumpkin seeds.
- Do only nuts and dates and skip the chocolate chips altogether.
If you make this dish and want to share your photo on Facebook or Instagram, be sure to tag me @dayinthekitchen and I'll leave a comment!
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