As the summer is approaching, I am bracing for craziness. Wedding showers, weddings, birthday parties, I am starting to think that every weekend is a party! When I am stressed or in a hurry I eat without thinking so I try to have healthy little snacks that I can grab on my way out of the door. I found this recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, so it is no surprise that they are delicious. After making them I usually throw them in the freezer so they keep for longer, but have found that you can usually eat them right after taking them out. These bars are also a delicious alternative for dessert :)
1 cup chopped dried pitted dates
1 1/4 cups quick rolled oats
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl stir together dates, oats, flour, flaxseed, almonds, salt, cinnamon together. In a separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour wet ingredients on top of dry ingredients and stir until ingredients are evenly coated.
3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan pressing the batter firmly to the bottom and edges of the pan until the batter is even. You can use parchment paper to protect your hands.
4. Bake bars for 25-30 minutes or until they become brown along the edges. It is better to error on the side of baking slightly longer. Cool the bars in their pan completely approximately 1 hour. Once they are cooled, using a serrated knife and cut them into desired square size. Cool for another 30 minutes. Store in an air tight container.