I was sitting on the couch the other day, watching a recorded episode of Glee, Cooper was napping and I finally finished the chores on my loooong TO DO list. I started plowing through a "Lemon Bar" flavored LÄRABAR and thought, "Damn! These are GOOD!" I checked the back of the package and was shocked to find that it contained less than FIVE ingredients. In true Tracy fashion, all I could think was: MUST MAKE THESE. LIKE. RIGHT NOW. All of the ingredients were just chilling in my pantry. Glee can wait!
I looked at the ingredient list from my Coconut Date Rolls to help me cess out these bars because dates are the main binder in both! After a few tweaks & pulses in the food processor, I think I totally got it! My very own Lemon Date Energy Bars! They're a bit dense, a little sticky, kinda chewy, super nutty, naturally sweet and totally lemony! They taste pretty darn close to the original bar that inspired them. On the next batch, I'll leave a few of the nuts chunkier and I'll cut the bars smaller. I can't wait to tinker with more recipes! Watch out food processor, you're gonna get USED!
And we're off!
Here's my inspiration! I'm kind of addicted to these.
Cashews, almonds, dates, lemon. (Lemon extract not pictured here. I didn't know I needed it yet!)
Grind up the almonds, cashews, dates & lemon zest.
Your food processor is gonna work HARD.
Take a taste of the mixture....then add in some lemon extract!
Whirl it and then you're done!
Put the mixture in a parchment lined brownie pan.
Press it evenly with your fingers. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until firm.
Unwrap & cut into quarters. Cut quarters in half & cut out your bars. Trim edges to make them even.
You should be proud of yourself.
You made your own energy bars!
Just don't wrap them up in foil. It tends to stick to the bar. Lesson learned!
Lemon Date Energy Bars
(makes 8-16 depending how how small you cut them!)
- 1 1lb. pitted dates
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon oil extract
In a food processor mix pitted dates, almonds, cashews & lemon zest until a thick paste forms. Add in the lemon juice & lemon oil extract and pulse a few times to combine. (If you want a few bigger chunks of nuts in your bars, pulse the nuts first and set some aside. Then incorporate the chunks into the final mixture)
Take the the bar mixture and press into a parchment lined 8- inch brownie pan, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cut the bars into smaller rectangles (or any size you prefer). Wrap them up in plastic wrap. Foil is kinda tricky- it sticks to the bar too much. Keep the bars covered, in the fridge for up to a week.