How to Make No Bake Date Bars with Peanut Butter & Old Fashioned Oats in 5 Minutes

As the weather starts to get warmer, it can be difficult to persuade yourself to use the oven, especially to meal prep! That’s why today I’m sharing my recipe for my No Bake Peanut Butter Date Bars. You can use this recipe for breakfast, dessert, or even just a snack all without an oven. Best of all, you wind up with a homemade date bars for an any time treat!

This recipe for peanut butter dates bars suits many diets, including vegan, raw, dairy free, and potentially gluten free if you use gluten free oats. This recipe is so simple and can be done from start to finish in under an hour, but the thing I love most about this recipe is that it is not time sensitive. You can make the mixture and freeze it, then come back to it at a later time. Although you might not want to wait!

Most sweet treats are filled with empty calories, but this no bake oatmeal date bar is both nutritious and filling. The medjool dates in this recipe offer good sources of both fiber and minerals. However, it is important to note that dates are high in sugar, and they actually have a moderate glycemic response. The oats in this recipe also provide sustenance and texture to the final date bar as well. Best of all, these no bake date bars will give you energy to keep you going.

Recipe

While some of these ingredients are a bit more specialized, many are pantry staples. Check the FAQ section to look for other replacements and find out the purpose of each ingredient.

IngredientsAmount
Medjool dates, softened1 cup
Natural Peanut Butter1/2 cup
Maple Syrup2 tbsp
Rolled Oats (gluten free optional)3 cups
Dried Fruit such as Dried Cranberries1 cup
Chia Seeds2 tbsp
Cinnamon1/2 tsp
Vanilla Extract2 tsp
Kosher Salt1 tsp

Procedure:

  1. Start by pitting the dates by peeling 
  2. Soak the dates for 5 minutes in boiling water
  3. Blend in the food processor until a paste forms
  4. Add in the oats and blend together until a mass forms
  5. When about half way through to homogenous, add in the remaining ingredients
  6. Then take a loaf pan or a 9×9 pan and line with parchment paper. 
  7. Deposit the mixture into the pan, and then press firmly down
  8. Freeze anywhere from 30 minutes – a few hours
  9. Cut, serve, and enjoy
  10. Store cold for best stability.

Food Science Explained:

There are a few reasons why this recipe works. After the dates have been soaked, they provide a sticky like texture that hold the bar together. The peanut butter adds natural fats and plant based protein, while the maple syrup adds a slight dose of sweetness. The oats soak up the excess moisture and provide structure to the bars. There is a lot of room for variation in this recipe, so feel free to swap some other  ingredients in and out.

Ingredient Spotlight:

Dried Cranberries

I like using dried cranberries contain a lot of antioxidants and vitamins for the body. Some studies suggest that cranberries are good for anti-inflammation. 

Medjool dates

Dates are high in calories, high in sugar, and high insoluble fiber. These dried fruits can help provide you with energy and may help lower cholesterol

Maple Syrup

Using a liquid syrup helps bring the dough together. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener which is very common in North America and in the Northern Eastern Region of the US. If you don’t like maple syrup, you can always use another form of liquid sweetener like honey or agave. However, the maple flavor does at some depth to the date bar.

No Bake Date Bar FAQ

How do you soften dates?

You can soften the dates by soaking them for an hour in room temperature water, or if you’re in a time crunch, you can pour boiling water on them and let them sit for 5 minutes.

What other types of dried fruit can I use?

You can use whatever types of dried fruit you like best, but the tartness of the dried cranberries really helps balance the flavor. If you’re looking for substitutions, I would suggest dried cherries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, or dried mango to add texture and flavor. 

How long do I need to freeze these for?

We typically freeze these bars for 30 minutes, then slice and store them refrigerated. However you can wait a few hours until the bars set if you prefer a more firm texture.


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