I paged through my cookie cookbook last week hoping to find some baking inspiration for a quick and nut-free (and preferably no-bake) treat. Flipping through the Bars, Bites & Balls chapter I was reminded of my Chewy Fig Bar recipe.
It’s been a few years since I made those bars but I remember very well just how delicious they are. Now that I’m not eating almonds, I decided to take that recipe and re-work it using pumpkin seeds instead. I didn’t have figs on hand for the filling, so I swapped in date puree which worked beautifully.
No bake treats are my favorite to make this time of year. I avoid heating up the kitchen with the oven, they come together quickly, and they taste great straight from the freezer!
These mini bars are sweetened almost entirely with dates. A touch of maple syrup helps bind the crust together, but that’s it for added sweeteners. One of the challenges I most enjoy tackling in the kitchen is developing recipes sweetened exclusively (or close to it) with fruit or dried fruit. It’s not always easy creating a great-tasting cookie, pie, tart, or ice cream without added sweeteners, but I love eating treats that I know are as “whole food based” as possible.
A few of you may wonder if there’s a replacement for the oats in this recipe. I haven’t tried anything out myself (yet!), but if you’d like an oat-free alternative I’d suggest replacing the 3/4 cup oats with 6 tablespoons quinoa flakes plus 6 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut. I can’t guarantee success with that swap, but I think it would be a good place to start.
- 1-1/4 cups (packed) pitted Medjool dates, divided use
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided use
- ¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process 1 cup of the dates with ¼ cup water until paste-like, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. This will take about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- To the empty food processor add the oats, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Process for 30 seconds.
- Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon water. Process until the mixture holds together when pinched between your fingers.
- Set aside about ½ cup (not packed) of the dough. Press the remaining dough into the bottom of the lined loaf pan. If the dough sticks to your fingers, wet them slightly with water.
- Spread the date paste over the crust in an even layer. Crumble the reserved dough over the top and press gently to adhere.
- Freeze for about 1 hour or until firm. Remove the bar "slab" from the pan. Cut crosswise into 6 or 7 bars. Then cut each bar in half crosswise to form mini bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Make this recipe? I want to see it! Hashtag your creations #DAILYBITESRECIPES on social media.