Walnut and Date Bars

by Jenn on January 6, 2010

in Dairy Free,Desserts,Gluten Free,Snacks,Vegetarian

Besides salads, this dish might be the first dish here that doesn’t involve any cooking.  In fact, everything about this dish is completely raw.  I’m not necessarily a proponent of raw food, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t give myself the chance to make something delicious if it happens to be raw.  One of my husband’s favorite fruits in the world are dates, especially Medjool dates which are very sweet and soft.  Eating a Medjool date is like eating candy, it is that sweet.  Absolutely delicious!

So I like to make desserts that feature one of nature’s best candies.  One thing that we purchase often is what is called “date cake” in the grocery store – it literally has just two ingredients, walnuts and dates.  We often just slice pieces for dessert, or a snack and I finally decided that this was so simple that I was sure I could replicate it pretty easily.  And actually, my first try turned out pretty darned delicious.  My husband even said it was better than the store-bought version (as most homemade things are).  I added in some honey not really to sweeten it, but ironically, to make the entire mixture less sticky.  I know, sounds backwards, right?  But it worked.  Honey adds a great flavor as well.

I would like to try this next with pistachios instead of walnuts I think.  But there you have it, an entirely raw dessert that is delicious and free of refined sugars.  Don’t let that make you think this is healthy though, the calories and carb count still very much categorize this as a dessert.  Healthier than a slice of birthday cake? Sure.  Healthy? Not really.  But delicious.  Smooth and creamy almost like a fudge consistency with crunchy walnuts throughout.  Dates and walnuts are a perfect marriage of flavors. Enjoy!




100 g dates, chopped
100 g walnuts, chopped
2 tbs. honey

1. Pulse dates and half the walnuts in a food processor until it all comes together in a smooth mixture.  Add in the honey, and pulse again until well blended.  The measurement doesn’t have to be very exact.  I eyeballed it in grams because I’m a chemist and it’s easier for me.  The point is about equal mass of each.
2. Using your hands (this will be sticky), spread it out about 1/2″ thick on a wooden surface.  Carefully fold in the rest of the chopped walnuts until all  are incorporated.  Then reshape into a square shaped bar, and wrap with plastic wrap.  Let chill in the fridge about 30 min.
3. Unwrap the bar, carefully cut into bite sized pieces, and garnish each with a walnut half on top.  Store in the fridge, and enjoy!