Healthy, No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars

Mar 16th

I talk to people all the time who “can’t bake” (I’m not judging them, it’s self-proclaimed). This is all well and good but everyone needs a sweet snickety-snack now and then and if you’re not baking them yourself, you’re buying them.

They make pretty amazing snacks these days, low in preservatives and whatnot, but I have yet to find one without an unpronounceable ingredient or two. For your health, the environment’s sake (packaging) and your wallet, getting in your kitchen and doing the work is always worth it. And so – this post is for you non-bakers! You do need a food processor, so put that on your Christmas list because it’s quite the kitchen work-horse, especially for the non-bakers.

I’ve found that with a basis of nuts, oats and dates, the varieties are endless. These apricot almond bars were pretty recent (and they vanished) as well as these cocoa almond variety – clearly I’m having fun in the “no-bake” department. These treats stay in the fridge (yay for no preservatives) and I swear to you, they’re sweet enough for a post-meal treat on the days when you’re really trying to “be good”.

Recently my husband I visited Costco. Two hundred dollars later we’re saying things like, “but we will use it all! It’s like saving money!” My snack cabinet is now being crowded out by a gigantic bag of pecans and an even more gigantic bag of dates. And so this idea was born – I’m nothing if not practical.┬áPecan pie, though the highest calorie pie available, is pretty dang good. With these bars you can have all the flavor with none of the guilt!

Healthy, No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars

Makes an 8×8 pan

2 c. unsalted pecans, toasted

1 1/2 c. pitted dates

1 c. oats

1 tbsp. molasses

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Toast nuts in a dry skillet over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown.

2. Transfer nuts to food processor and add dates and oats. Pulse several times and then process until finely ground and evenly combined.

3. Scrape down the sides of the canister. Add remaining ingredients and process until evenly combined.

4. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of a parchment, foil or waxed paper lined 8×8 baking dish. Refrigerate until set and cut into bars. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

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