2 ingredients? It’s true but you’d never guess it eating one of these 2-ingredient salted peanut date bars. These heatlhy bars can be ready in minutes and make a wonderful vegan dessert, pre-workout snack or natural sweet treat anytime you need an instant boost in energy. This delicious, no-bake date bar recipe is gluten-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free.
Healthy Date Bars
Fresh, soft dates are one of my all-time favourite foods, my preferred pre-workout snack and my favourite way to satisfy a craving for something sweet. I love eating dates on their own or stuffed with almond butter but they’re also the perfect base for just about any energy bar or dessert you can dream up. In addition, they also offer a ton of health benefits making them a wonderful natural sweetener.
Best Dates for Energy Bars
It’s important to use fresh, soft dates to make no-bake energy bars. Using dry dates will result in crumbly bars however if that’s all you have, you can soak them in hot water before using to soften them up. The best kind of dates to use are medjool dates, deglect noor, honey or sayer dates.
Types of Dates
There are three main categories of dates: soft, semisoft, and dry. More than a thousand varieties of dates exist but the most common sold are medjool, deglect noor and bread dates.
Medjool dates are soft, moist and rich dates that taste like caramel. They’re quite large in size and are excellent for snacking and using in recipes. I find medjool dates are a little on the sticky side for recipes like granola but they make the perfect base for energy bars, desserts and various raw recipes. They also make a beautiful date caramel sauce.
Deglect noor and sayer dates are smaller and drier than medjool dates but they still have a sweet, delicate flavour and are good for recipes and snacks. Honey dates are soft and creamy and have a deeply sweet flavour.
More Date Varieties
Other dates varieties include barhi, dayri, halawy, khadrawy, thoory and zahidi but I don’t have much experience with any of them.
Barhi dates are the softest and sweetest of the dates but I haven’t been able to find them in local stores. Halawi dates which are sweet, sticky and semi-soft, khadrawi dates which have a lower sugar content and zahidi dates which are semi-dry and a little less sweet than other varieties.
Thoory dates, or “bread” dates are a dryer, thicker and chewier date but are perfect for chopping up and adding to something like homemade granola or trail mix.
Dates for Quick Energy
Because of their concentrated natural sugar content, dates make a good source of instant energy. They’re also rich in potassium, a mineral particularly important for active athletes. In fact, while bananas surpass dates in vitamins C and A, dates have about twice as much potassium, three times as much iron, twice as much protein, and six times as much calcium as bananas.
Health benefits of dates
- The insoluble and soluble fiber in dates promotes digestive health.
- Dates are rich in magnesium, a mineral known for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits.
- The magnesium and potassium in dates has been shown to help to lower blood pressure.
- Magnesium has also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke.
- Studies have shown that the date fruit can help promote a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
- Dates contain vitamin B6 of which sufficient levels are associated with improved brain performance.
Of course, dates have a very high sugar content so even though it’s all natural, unrefined sugar, it’s still important to eat them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
2-Ingredient Date Bars
Okay, sorry to keep you from this recipe but I enjoyed learning more about dates as I wrote this post and I hope you did too! I just love dates so much! You can’t beat them for an all-natural boost in energy or for using in homemade snack bars like these.
I’m totally in love with these bars. Although there are only 2, well 3 ingredients including sea salt, the flavour is rich, sweet and salty with hints of caramel from the medjool dates.
My favourite way to eat them right now is chopped into pieces and used as topping for my daily green smoothie bowl. Give it a try, it tastes amazing!Print
These homemade date bars are so easy to make you’ll want to make a batch every weekend! Try them with the added sea salt for a delicious sweet and salty twist on no-bake energy bars.
- 1.5 cups packed, pitted fresh medjool dates
- 1.5 cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- 1/2 tsp good quality sea salt
- Place ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and mix until it forms a thick dough.
- Press the dough into a wax or parchment-paper lined square baking dish and place in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Lift out of the pan and slice into 8 large bars or 16 smaller squares (nutrition info is for 16 squares.)
- Store in the fridge. These get better and better as they sit in the fridge for a few days! Enjoy!
I highly recommend using a good quality sea salt for best results. It will give them the most depth of flavour without tasting too salty. I wouldn’t recommend making them with table salt, they won’t taste the same. My favourite salt is pink sea salt, which you can shop on Amazon here.
Alternatively, you can leave the salt out all together but I highly recommend giving it a try, it tastes awesome!
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 165
- Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 29 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 3 g