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Homemade Date Bars ~ Easy to Make in One Bowl

Homemade Date Bars ~ Easy to Make in One Bowl

I love making homemade date bars because they are quick and easy, and I can use whatever nuts and dried fruit I have. They aren’t very sticky which makes them easy to pack for an on-the-go snack. 

These date bars are packed with protein. I buy big bags of nuts from Costco for snacks and purposely save the bits and pieces from the bottom of the bags to use in this recipe. I buy containers of dates from Costco or from my local grocery store. They are an easy snack and work well in baking. 

Making your own date bars means you can choose what ingredients you use and avoid packaged foods. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and uses just one bowl. It makes 12 bars. I’ve made these with pure maple syrup and other times with honey. They are both delicious. Use what you have.

What You Need to Make Homemade Date Bars

Dates are an excellent natural sweetener when baking. Be sure to buy pitless dates. Even when you do but them without pits, here may be a stray one. You can easily make them gluten free using gluten free oats.

Date Bars Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds
  • 1 cup dates
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit 
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg powder
  • Vegetable oil or avocado oil for the pan

Nuts and seeds ideas: You can use one kind of nut if that’s what you have but I like to use a combination. Some to consider are almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Dried fruit ideas: Raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, dried blueberries, unsweetened coconut chips or unsweetened shredded coconut, etc. I tried using dried apples once and thought they were too dry in the bars. Instead, I would use a fresh apple, diced very small.

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Bowl
  • 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish or pie pan
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Measuring spoons and cups
nuts in bowl

In these date bars, I used walnuts, sliced almonds, and pecans

How to Make Homemade Date Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF.
  2. Grease baking dish with avocado oil or other tasteless oil.
  3. If you are using whole nuts, pulse in food processor or smash in bag. Add nuts to mixing bowl.
  4. Add oats, dried fruit, cinnamon, and nutmeg to nuts and combine. Set aside.
  5. Blend dates in the food processor. Add the maple syrup, and blend until smooth.
  6. Add date mixture to the oats and nut mixture and combine.
  7. Spread in prepared baking pan, flattening it so it’s leveled and even.
  8. Put in center rack in oven for 20 – 24 minutes. 
  9. Remove the pan from the oven, and set on baking rack until it cools. 
  10. Cut into small squares and serve, or cover it and refrigerate.

These are healthy and delicious. I think they taste even better the next day once they’ve been in the fridge. 

dates in food processor

Pulsing maple syrup and dates in Vitamix food processor

nuts, oats, cranberries in homemade date bars

Adding nuts, oats, cranberries to make homemade date bars- combine with a spoon

Tips

You can use salted or unsalted nuts. I typically use a combination of salted and unsalted nuts when making date bars. Pulse the nuts first, before the dates, when your high performance food processor is clean. I use a Vitamix. After you transfer the nuts into the bowl, you can blend the dates and maple syrup (or honey).

I think it’s best to blend the dates on their own in the food processor and then add the maple syrup.

Combine all the dry ingredients together before adding the date mixture. This way, you’ll know everything is blended together well.

adding date mixture to nut and oat mixture

Adding date mixture to nut and oat mixture

Be sure to spread the mixture evenly so it bakes evenly. If you are using a metal pan, check for doneness after 23 – 24 minutes. If you are using a glass pan, it may be finished closer to 20 minutes.

date oat bars recipe

Date oat bars recipe

Serving Suggestions

This date bars recipe is delicious for breakfast, as a snack, or as a dessert. Date bars go well with coffee and tea. Serve with a bowl of berries and you are all set for a nice coffee presentation. 

Storing

When they are completely cooled, you can cover them in the same pan you baked them in. Set them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can serve them right out of the refrigerator, or let them come to room temperature before serving. Cut into squares. If you warm them in the microwave, only do so in 10 second increments. You want the dates to remain firm.

You can freeze date bars for up to 3 months. Be sure to seal them in an airtight container.

Tips for Making Palm Oil Free Oat Date Bars

Maple syrup: To ensure these remain palm oil free, use pure maple syrup. The only ingredient on the container should say “maple syrup”.

If using coconut: Use unsweetened shredded coconut or unsweetened coconut chips. Sweetened coconut contains propylene glycol which is typically made using palm oil. You can find unsweetened coconut at Target, online on Amazon, and at some grocery stores. 

date bars recipe

Spreading in 9×9 glass baking pan… This easy date bars recipe uses oats, nuts, cranberries or other dried fruit, and maple syrup or honey

Making Homemade Date Bars

You can find palm oil free date bars in stores but they taste so much better when you make them from scratch. They taste more like a bakery item — moist and delectable. Also, baking with dates is easy if you have a food processor, blender, or immersion blender.

I always keep dates and nuts in my pantry as snacks, which makes it easy to make these bars. It will also help if you have a high performance food processor or blender. The dates will blend nicely which is important for this recipe.

I have a friend who is vegan, and I make these homemade date bars as a dessert whenever she comes over. I just be sure to use pure maple syrup instead of honey. Try this vegan bars recipe and these raw, no-bake carrot and date energy bites

Love baking with oats? (I do!) Try this granola recipe.

Using dates in baking provides a rich foundation for these bars and many other desserts. They add a soft, chewy texture that enhances the overall texture of the baked goods. In addition, they can be a healthier alternative to processed sugars.

Learn more about palm oil free granola bars. Thanks for being interesting in baking from scratch. These homemade date bars are easy to make and are versatile — make them your own with whatever ingredients you have and to suit your tastes. Please check out my other desserts without palm oil.

Leave me a note in the Comments if you made this date bars recipe. What nuts and dried fruit did you use?

homemade date bars
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Homemade Date Bars

These one bowl homemade date bars are simple to make. You can use whatever nuts and dried fruit you have. Use a combination or just one kind -- your choice. They are sweet and delicious!
Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword date bars, date bars recipe, date bars with oats, homemade date bars, homemade date bars recipe, oat date bars, recipe for homemade date bars
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings 9 bars

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Bowl
  • 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish or pie pan
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Measuring spoons and cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped nuts and/or seeds one type or any combination
  • 1 cup dates
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit one type or any combination
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg powder
  • Vegetable oil or avocado oil for the pan

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  • Grease baking dish with avocado oil or other tasteless oil.
  • If the nuts are whole or in large pieces, pulse in food processor or smash in bag. Put nuts in mixing bowl.
  • Add oats, dried fruit, cinnamon, and nutmeg to nuts. Combine and set aside.
  • Pulse dates in food processor. After pulsing for a minute, add the maple syrup, and blend until smooth.
  • Add date mixture to the oats and nut mixture. Combine.
  • Spread in prepared baking pan, flattening it so it's even and leveled.
  • Put in center rack in preheated oven for 20 - 24 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Set on baking rack until it cools completely.
  • Cover and refrigerate until serving, or cut into small squares and serve.

Notes

This is a great recipe to use bits and pieces of nuts (like those at the bottom of big bags). Add chia seeds, flax seeds, anything... it's versatile.
Make them gluten free by using gluten free certified oats.
If you can't have nuts, add more dried fruit instead. If using shredded coconut, use unsweetened to avoid palm oil and so the date bars aren't overly sweet. The dates are a natural sweetener.
Store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or sealed in the freezer for up to 3 months.
 
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