The No-Bake Date and Peppermint Bark Bars You Need to Make

If you’re anything like me, you’ve come to dread the holiday season, not because of the bitter cold or crowds at the mall, but because of the constant availability of sweet treats. How is one’s waistline supposed to make it through the holiday season with such temptations?!

I am the epitome of the so-called “sweet tooth”, exercising almost no willpower in the face of Christmas candy or cut-out cookies. But I assure you, I have one tried and true trick for assuaging the need for something sweet AND being nutritionally conscious—DATES! Better known as nature’s candy.

Dates are naturally sweet, making them a perfect substation for refined sugar. They are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals, and high in fiber! Can sugar say that? Check out this holiday spin on a date-based no-bake bar!  Perfect for all holiday gatherings!

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No-Bake Date Peppermint Bark Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed, pitted dates (approximately 12)
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips or chunks, melted (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp flaked unsweetened coconut, for garnish

Directions

  1. Line a loaf pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. Set aside.
  2. Soak dates in water for 10 minutes and then drain. In a food processor, process pitted dates about one minute until almost smooth and sticky.
  3. Add rolled oats, cocoa powder, salt, and peppermint extract and process until combined.
  4. Finally, add nuts and pulse until smooth. “Dough” should be sticky enough to form a ball.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle flaked coconut on top and press firmly into pan with slightly wet fingers or additional parchment paper.
  6. Freeze for 15 minutes or until set. Slice into 6 bars and then in half again to create 12 small bars.
  7. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.
  8. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Nutritional Information (1 serving): 146 Calories, 10g Total Fat (2g Saturated Fat), 15g Carbohydrates (3g Fiber, 8g Sugar), 3g Protein

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Carly Sippel is a registered yoga teacher, certified life coach, and nutrition nut. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Dietetics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She turns her passion into practice, promoting healthy bodies in both her personal and professional life.