I know I mentioned that at the beginning of each year I always get a renewed inspiration for cooking dinner and meal planning and trying to make that work in the most efficient way possible. But this year, I feel like I have a renewed interest in food in general and how our food culture (is that the proper term?) is going to change in our house this year.
One the main factors here is that Evelyn is going to start eating real food soon. Right now we’re planning on going the baby-led weaning route, and I’ve already been making mental lists of the first foods we’re going to put in front of her (and I promise I’ll post more about this once it happens). I’ve been thinking about the vegetables we eat on a regular basis and what we need to include more of. I’ve been thinking about how I will need to be buying a lot more fruits. Every night when we sit down to dinner I’ve been thinking about what I’ve prepared that Evelyn could theoretically eat.
Another thing I’ve been trying to do is prepare some of my food for the week on the weekends. Right now that means chopping what vegetables I can, and maybe making a batch of granola if we’re running low. And more importantly I think, it means making a batch of something healthy I can snack on throughout the week that will still satisfy my sweet tooth (like peanut butter oat balls).
Right now these are my new obsession. I’ll have you know that I have never in my life had a lara bar, but that is supposedly what these are. I first saw a similar recipe a couple of months ago, and then they just kept cropping up everywhere and it felt like the universe was telling me to make these.
When I first pulled them out of the food processor and tasted them, I was very hesitant. I wasn’t sure I liked them. But I spread them out in the pan anyway, tried them again, and thought a bit of chocolate over the top might help.
I am in love with these now (and I even love them without the chocolate). They are the snack I look forward to every day now and the fact that they are healthy gives me absolutely no guilt about eating as many as I want (to a point). Now I just need to not eat so many that a weekend batch doesn’t get me through the week.
Peanut Date Snack Bars (or Balls)
These are such a healthy snack bar and they are sweet without any sugar (unless you add the bit of extra chocolate). The dates do the trick, and while the flavor might not be exactly like a sugar sweetened snack, they have their own delicious sweetness. The bars can be a bit crumbly depending on how finely you grind them, but that’s okay. The chocolate helps to hold them together a bit more.
Also, I actually love making these as balls now, adding a a few chocolate chips into the food processor (how ever many you want really) and then rolling them into balls and keeping them in the refrigerator.
Makes about 12 square bars
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup pitted dates
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
- In a mini food processor, add the peanuts and dates and process until finely ground (this can take a few minutes). Add the peanut butter and water and process until combined.
- Spread the bars out in a 9 x 9 inch square pan and pat them down flat so that they come together.
- If you would like to add chocolate, in a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in the microwave in 30 second intervals (or do this in a small heat proof bowl set over simmering water). Drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars.
Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Cut into squares to serve. Store for about a week in the refrigerator.