No-bake Pistachio Date Bars. These babies take all of 20 minutes to make and are great as a late-afternoon snack, or as fuel for long workouts. I made this batch specifically so that I could send some with a friend who's doing a cross country ski marathon. I believe he's looking at two, ten-hour days of skiing, so he'll definitely need a lot of energy.
Many people shy away from coconut oil, thinking that it's bad because it's a saturated fat. I've come to learn/believe that it's actually a GOOD fat, so I've included it here on purpose. Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are digested easily, and unlike fats that are not MCTs, they are utilized in the liver. Within moments of being consumed, they are converted to energy by the liver. In other words; coconut oil provides more energy, more quickly than other fat sources. Coconut oil has strong anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. All good things when fighting yeast overgrowth. Coconut oil helps stimulate thyroid function, ladies, which in turn helps lower bad cholesterol. It is also known to help regulate blood sugar. I could keep going, but I'll stop before I bore you. For more information on the value of coconut oil, check out Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Clean by Alexandro Junger, M.D. or Thrive by Brendan Brazier.
Final aside: Coconut oil actually has fewer calories than any other fat source. Who knew? If you're still not convinced that coconut oil is for you, feel free to leave it out of this recipe all together.
1.5 cups raw walnuts
1.5 cups rolled oats (Gluten Free if you are)
1/4 cup un-refined coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut flakes
1/4 cup raw pistachios - chopped
3 cups dried dates
1/2 cup raisins
- Line an 8X8 or equivalent pan with saran wrap. Cover the dates and raisins with hot water and set aside to soften.
- In a food processor, process the oats, walnuts and salt until fine. Add the coconut oil and pulse to incorporate.
- Add about 1/4 cup of the now softened dates and raisins to the processor and process until you have a sticky dough that holds together when pinched. If necessary, add a few more dates until you get the right consistency.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of this mixture and firmly press the rest of it into the bottom of your pan to form the crust.
- Strain the dates/raisins, reserving liquid just in case, and process until you have a thick paste. If it's too thick, add some of the reserved liquid to thin it out.
- Smear the date paste over crust, then sprinkle the top with the remaining crust, coconut flakes and chopped pistachios. Use your fingers to press the toppings into the date mixture.
- Cover the top with saran wrap and place in the freezer to firm up - at least one hour.
- Cut and serve! I like them best straight from the freezer.