I would say that we do a pretty good job of eating well in our house. Most days I have the fridge packed with fruit and veggies with healthy snacks made up and dinner planned to a science. But if I’m going to be honest, there are some days that I’m not on my A game. And the first thing that gets compromised is me.
My children will always be my priority, but when days don’t go as planned in the food department, I don’t seem to have time to make myself the healthy sit-down meals that I would like. Sad but true. Knowing this, I keep healthy grab-on-the-go snacks that still nourish my body and don’t put me into a health deficit on these nutty days.
I love the fact that I can incorporate greens into these snacks with greens+ by Genuine Health. Very few of us get enough greens in our diets, and sneaking them in to snacks is a great way to supercharge your diet and give you a bit of extra insurance in the health department. Greens + is full of phytonutrients (plant nutrients that help fight diseases – in fact it has 350% more than other powdered greens products on the market) and plant ingredients that you can actually pronounce (click here for where to buy it)! You can stir it into a smoothie or drink it on it’s own, but I wanted to create something that we can actually eat (I used greens+ kids when pregnant and nursing as the adult formulation isn’t indicated for pregnant or nursing women or children).
These date bars are PACKED with nutrition and healthy plant energy and taste incredible! They stick together really nicely too thanks to the ground almonds and honey or agave syrup (your choice) and can be stuck in the freezer once cut up to include in your lunch or to grab with your morning coffee or tea heading out the door. The dates are a great vehicle for the greens+; you can’t even tell there are greens in the bars!
I made these bars with my Vitamix Total Nutrition Center (what did I do before I had this by the way?), which was an absolute breeze! The Total Nutrition Center has the ability to chop, cream, blend, grind, knead, churn, emulsify, purée, powder and whip ingredients. It’s as though this appliance has super-powers, talk about the perfect kitchen tool for family meals and entertaining! The Vitamix allows for almost no clean up with these date bars and I had them into the oven in minutes: my kind of recipe!
Makes 24 squares
- 20 pitted Medjool dates, chopped
- 1 ½ c. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- ¼ c. greens+ ORIGINAL
- 1 c. almonds, toasted
- 2 c. large flake oats
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ c. agave syrup or honey
- ¾ c. melted coconut oil
- ¼ c. hemp hearts
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9×13″ baking dish or pan with parchment paper (I grease the pan first to let the paper stick).
- Place the dates and the water in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until the dates are soft and break down, approximately 20 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest and the greens+ ORIGINAL and set aside.
- Add the almonds, oats, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, brown sugar and coconut to the Vitamix Total Nutrition Center. Using level 7, pulse by turning it on for a few seconds and off until the oats and almonds are finely processed (about 8-10 pulses). Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the agave syrup or honey, coconut oil and hemp hearts and mix together with a large spoon until the mixture sticks together.
- Take 3/4 of the oat mixture and firmly press it evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. I use a flat-bottomed cup for this part at the end to get it completely smooth.
- Spread the date mixture evenly on top of the oat base with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle on the remaining oat mixture on top of the date layer.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the bars are golden brown. Cool completely, remove from the pan (by lifting the edges of the parchment paper) and cut into 24 squares.