I couldn’t decide on a a better name for this recipe. My son says they’re cereal bars. They do have cereal, but they also have almond butter, dates, chia seeds, and cocoa powder, which are far more exciting for me. What’s in a name? I like to highlight the date since it’s the base of the recipe, and the reason why there’s NO ADDED SUGARS. And the ‘cereal’ part is for Khaled. We made this together, so I have instructions on how to get your child involved.
The recipe is inspired by Lisa from Healthful Sense. Her use of dates is genius–I’m kind of thinking, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’
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The reason I’m posting it again is because I use a different type of dates for baking and bars. I buy these pressed dates from my local Middle Eastern store. You might find in Indian stores or even online. They only contain dates (yay), already pressed and pitted (easier), and less expensive than buying the sweet and moist medjool dates.
By the time I adjusted the amounts to make up for the dates I have, it felt like a new recipe. I tried the recipe a couple of times, one by hand and another with a stand mixer, and I recommend the latter if you have one.
- 1 pkg pressed dates
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 c old fashioned oats (you can use quick cooking, but I buy old fashioned and it works just fine)
- 2 c brown rice crisps (I found an organic brand with few ingredients in Whole Foods)
Wash your hands and make sure your child rubs his really well!
Measure all ingredient, expect for the brown rice crisps, and put in the bowl of the stand mixer (or any other large bowl if you don’t have one). Have your child hold the measuring cup or spoon, pour the ingredient in the cup/spoon, then have him dump it in the bowl. Or, you can scoop the ingredient (like almond butter), and have him dump it in the bowl. Older children, then can pour, scoop, and measure all by themselves. Whatever way you choose, talk about the food, what it is, where it comes from, etc.
Using the batter attachment, mix slowly on speed 2 (or knead with your hands) until all ingredients are combined well. You might have to stop the mixer, break the lumps apart, and repeat one or two times. Add the rice crisps, and continue to mix. If you’re comfortable with your child using the stand mixer, you can let him ‘participate.’ If you’re using your hands, start kneading then give him a turn.
Whichever way you started (hand or mixer), you can follow the same instructions here. With your hands, make the mixture/dough into a ball, trying to incorporate all the rice crisps, oats, and chia seeds. You want to have a sticky ball. If your child is helping, you can make one small ball for him/her, and the rest for you.
Place the ball on a large piece of wax paper on your counter. Fold the paper to cover the ball from the top. With a roller pin, roll until it’s 1/2-1 inch thick. Use your hands and/or a knife to form a large square or rectangle. Continue rolling and shaping until you get a size you like. Let your child roll his ball and/or yours. Help as he might not be able to get ‘perfect’ bars.
Cut into squares or rectangles. This recipe made 12 small bars. Don’t make them too large or else they will fall apart.
Wrap in clear plastic wrap and store in the fridge for a week–that is, if they last. Your child can help with cutting, transferring over the plastic wrap, or even wrapping. Don’t worry about mistakes or imperfections!
These are great for a snack, a quick breakfast (maybe 2 for an adult), or with coffee or tea.