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!


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

pierre January 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Hello jenn
THese bars look scrumptious I love dates which are quite rare in food blogs so thanks for hte sharing !
I am Pierre a french foodie based in Paris I have a food blog on creative french food so you can come and enjoy it !!
Happy new year !Pierre


lo January 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

As a big fan of dates, these bars look like a definite “must try”! And who can argue with a dessert recipe that’s so very good for you?


Dawn Hutchins January 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I love dates too and recently I remembered how much I like prunes. Now why don’t you hear anything about a nice prune bar? hehheehe


Lauren January 6, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Yum. That looks amazing! Love the flavours =D.


Kim January 6, 2010 at 9:06 pm

These look awesome!! I can’t wait to try them. :)


Stacy January 6, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I won’t even let myself buy dates because I would sit down and eat them all and regret that very shortly afterward. My husband’s 95-year-old grandmother has a date loaf recipe that we want to make sure we get while she can still give it to us. This recipe might tide us over until then!


Sondi January 7, 2010 at 12:35 am

These look amazing. They work well with cocoa and almonds too: http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2008/05/27/flash-in-the-pan-cocoa-nibbles-or-la-raw-bar/


bake in paris January 7, 2010 at 7:23 am

It is really sweet. Think it makes a good companion for a cup of tea, what do you think?
Anyway, thank for sharing!

Sawadee from Bangkok,


Ricki January 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm

They look fabulous–and your photos are stunning! As a holistic nutritionist, though, I’d disagree about these being “not healthy”–walnuts offer a huge boost of Omega 3 fatty acids, great for heart health and brain power, and dates are a good source of fibre and minerals–and sweetness, of course. By combining the fats and fiber of the ingredients with the sugars, you lower the overall GI of the dessert. I think that, like anything else, moderation is the key–but one square of these would definitely fall into my “good-for-you” category. IF you can eat only one, that is 😉


Alta January 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Wow…so earlier today, I was imagining making my own “Lara bars” with what I had around the house – dates and walnuts being first and foremost. You and I are thinking alike – because here you go making these, with the same ingredients! I agree with Ricki (even though I’m not a nutritionist), these have fiber and Omega 3s, and a good source of protein from the nuts, so they’re pretty darn good! I’m definitely going to have to make some. I’m thinking they could be changed up with a lot of different ingredients – peanuts, some raisins, almonds, even throw cinnamon in there for something different! Yum!


Amy @ Simply Sugar and Gluten Free January 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Isn’t amazing what you can do with all natural ingredients! I can almost taste these…and walnuts and dates are so good for you. Love the pics, as always.


Laxmi January 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Wow! that looks so yummy! And soo easy to make. Thanks for sharing.


katie January 8, 2010 at 11:34 am

I LOVE dates, they are one of my favorite things. And these look just delicious! And so cute too!!


Aubree Cherie January 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

This looks so yummy! Its also one of those times I realize I really need to buy a food processor… haha

I just recently started reading your blog. Thanks for all the great entries and recipes!

~Aubree Cherie


bobbi October 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

very good but my mom made the dates with a slit and filled with whole walnut and rolled in sugar


Deborah Harvey November 21, 2011 at 4:52 am

I just made something sort of similar using toasted almonds, honey, dried apricots, dates, spices, and a pinch of orange zest. I put everything in the food processor to blend, then rolled into balls. I dipped some in melted chocolate. They were very popular! It’s great to feel that you are still getting something good for you when treating yourself.


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