I would call myself an organized person. Really, I would. But sometimes, I have to wonder...
Because I'm also the person who leaves so many internet tabs open that I can't see the icons on any of them anymore. And the person who works with stuff all over the table, which I won't clean up until I'm completely done. And the person who occasionally finds that a recipe I wrote down a few weeks ago now looks like some sort of confusing combination of ingredients, steps, and baking times that I can't be sure if I'm reading correctly.
I'll call it a good day if I sit down to write a post and have a fully legible recipe in front of me, even if it is a little messy. On a not-so-good day, I'm rummaging through the recipe drawer looking for that one recipe hidden somewhere in a mountain of the rest of them.
I fully blame my
misorganization for the mess it's been trying to finalize the recipe for these bars. I think I made these at least four times before I actually wrote the entire recipe down coherently. Can somebody please tell me how that happens with a 6-ingredient, 5-step recipe?? I have no idea.
So now that I've officially made you guys all think I'm a mess, I hope you still trust me. Because I promise these apple bars taste good, but they look like... not much. We're taking a bunch of brownish ingredients, throwing them together in a food processor, grinding them to bits, and then clumping it all together into bars. The possibility of making an attractive snack here is about zero. But here's what I love about these - the healthy, nutrient-dense ingredient list. The easy recipe. The rich, nutty flavor of the pecans combined with the natural sweetness of dates. The tart apple flavor subtly blended in, perfect alongside the robust taste of cinnamon. Yup, these are good AND healthy. Don't you love it when that happens?Print
Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars
Rich in the nutty taste of toasted pecans and naturally sweetened with dates, these Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars are flavor and nutrient-packed!
- Yield: 10-12 bars 1x
- 8 ounces pecans (2 cups)
- 5 ¾ ounces rolled oats (2 cups)*
- 8 ¼ ounces pitted and halved dates (1 ½ cups)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces chopped granny smith apples (or similar) (2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the pecans and oats out on it in a single flat layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
- Keep the oven preheated to 350°F. Line an 8" square pan or a 12" x 5 ½" biscotti pan with parchment paper, leaving enough parchment on the sides to use as "handles" for pulling out the finished bars.
- Place the toasted nuts and oats in a food processor along with the dates, cinnamon, and salt. Process until the mixture is coarse and crumbly, with no large pieces remaining. Add the chopped apple and pulse in until there are no longer any large chunks left. Continue to process until everything starts to clump together, using a spatula if necessary to help move things around. This process may move slowly, but eventually everything should come together.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, using a wide, flat spatula to pat it down into a flat and compact layer that takes up the entire space of the pan. It helps to fold the extra parchment on the sides over the bars, and flatten with the spatula on top of the parchment (to prevent sticking). Be patient with this; the bars will look the exact same once they're done baking, so try to make them really flat and even.
- Bake the bars in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes, and then slice into bars. Once completely cool, lift out of the pan. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
*To make these bars gluten-free, use gluten-free rolled oats.
Thanks for the idea! I had leftover baked slow cooker stuffed cinnamon apples and I blended with some extra almonds and hazelnuts, oats and dates. They're pretty good! My only mistake is not using medjool dates. I found another variety at Costco and they weren't as rich in flavor. But thanks for rescuing my baked apples and now I have a great snack and breakfast bar for the kids!
Hi, was just wondering how long would these bars last in a container, in the fridge??
About two weeks I'd say!
I just made these... taste great ! Recipes for cereal bars without additional sugar/honey are really rare ! I used pistachios and hazelnuts because pecans are sooo expensive >-< Also, i thought my food processor would die on me... But now they're done, looking good :) thanks a lot :D
Yay! It is a lot of work on your FP, but I'm glad it turned out well. :)
Hello! I hate (really hate) dates, the flavour, the smell, the texture... every time I tried to eat one I'd almost puke. So, that being said, what can I substitute it for? Would honey work (flavour and texture wise)?
Honey wouldn't work the same because you're introducing an added liquid ingredient into the recipe in that case... You really don't taste the dates in the finished product, so my suggestion would be to try the recipe out as-is, but I understand if that makes you nervous considering how much you dislike them.
Gemma Atkins says
Hey, just wondering what the calories are roughly? Trying to make I'm sure I'm eating enough in the day to match my exercise and just want to check this recipe gives me enough.
I actually don't calculate nutritional content for any of my recipes, but I'd suggest plugging the ingredients and amounts into an online nutritional calculator if you want to get an idea of calorie count. :)
Love them. Even though un,ts of measure is different in my country; i converted them online and the result is perfect. Due to the fact that i am a MS petient, i try to eat clean and this bars are just for me. Thank you.
Yay! Happy to hear it :)
Alex silva says
Hi Alex loved the recipe idea used 1 cup of almonds and 1cup ofwalnuts instead of pecans added linseed ,sunflower seeds pumpkin seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes to make up the bulk of the nuts and 1 cup of dates +half a cup of dried figs all other ingredients & measurements were the same just out of the oven haven't tasted them yet hope they are as nice as yours seem 2b
Hope they turned out well! Thanks for the suggestions for switching up the recipe :)
Marsha A says
Love bars!! They are my favorite snack!
Marshall Bryans says
Do you think that these would stay fresh for a couple of days if stored an airtight container but not refrigerated?
For a couple of days they should be fine I'd say!
Do you know how many calories these have?
I don't calculate nutrional counts myself, but you could easily plug the information into a nutritional calculator online and get an idea.
Thanks for the recipe!
OK. I have no idea how you got these to work without adding some type of liquid. Congratulations for you!
I skipped the nuts (allergy), added raisins, Greek yogurt and protein powder. They're in the oven right now. I can't wait!
The apples lend enough liquid to make everything stick together. Hope your version worked out well! :)
These are really good, but what kind of food processor do you use? Mine keeps overheating or getting stuck because the mixture is so thick. Thanks!!
I have a 7-cup cuisinart. Sometimes you do have to stop and move things around with a spatula, but it never fails to work for things like this! :)
I don't usually comment recipes, but Yours is soooo perfect!!! in recent times I've tested loads of granola bars, oatmeal cakes and stuff like that and these are just ideal - so flavourful, and what's more important: they don't tend to fall apar which was a big problem when you wanted them as a school snack.
A little bit of changes I did:
- used 1 cup of rolled oats and 1 of oat brans
- added 1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love that you were so happy with the bars!
These are delicious! Thank you. I accidentally missed the rolled oats in the recipe and they turned out a bit like a sticky bliss ball in texture, but delicious (and my 9mo loves them)! I was thinking of trying it again because I loved the flavours, but adding flour to make it a bit more bready, like gingerbread or a slice, (to appeal to my almost 3yo) but I'm not good at experimenting and don't want to waste expensive ingredients! Do you think just throwing in some self raising flour would work (I feel like there's no need for butter and sugar?) or would I need baking powder? Would I need egg to help raise it? Your recipe definitely doesn't need changing, it is amazing, just trying to be creative with it:)
Have you tried again with the oats? I'm thinking that may make the difference you're looking for without changing anything else. Let me know!
These came out perfect. Thanks very much. I used almonds instead of pecans.
Awesome! So glad you liked them. :)