Energy bars: fruit & nut bars that require only 4 ingredients

Posted by for Food

You need a quick, energy-boost and you need it now. Only to open your cupboard and realise that one, you need to run to the shop for at least eight ingredients to make a snack, or two, it’s going to take at least an hour to prepare. Who has the time when you’re feeling hangry?

That’s why this nutritious date bar is our new best friend. The fibrous combination of dates and nuts will give you your second wind – making it the perfect pre-workout grub

Batch cook and store in the fridge, so you can tame your inner Regina George next time the hunger hits. 

PREP TIME: 10 minutes (plus chilling time)

MAKES: 8 bars 

INGREDIENTS:

100 g (3 1⁄2 oz) ground almonds

125 g (4 oz) ready-to-eat soft or Medjool dates (or use standard dried dates soaked in boiling water for 10–15 minutes, then drained)

1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder 

1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

Place the almonds, dates, cacao or cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a food processor or a high-power blender. 

Blend for about 1 minute until crumbly and evenly combined. You may need to stop the motor and scrape down the edges of the bowl once or twice. 

Add 2–3 tablespoons of water if the dates are hard and don’t break down readily. 

Continue processing for another 1–2 minutes until the ingredients clump together to form a ball.

Take the sticky ball out of the processor. 

Press or roll the sticky ball between two sheets of baking parchment or cling film to a 1 cm (1⁄2 in) thickness. Alternatively, press into an 18 x 18 cm (7 x 7 in) baking tin lined with cling film. 

Refrigerate for 1 hour or so until firm. 

Peel off the parchment and cut into bars, approximately 10 x 2 cm (4 x 3⁄4 in).

Wrap in cling film or foil to store. 

The bars will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to three months.

Recipe extracted from award-winning nutritionist Anita Bean’s new cookbook Vegetarian Meals in 30 Minutes (Bloomsbury, £17)

IMAGE: Claire Winfield

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