Tuesday, 15 May 2012

homemade date and nut bars...

I have a bit of a reputation for being totally unskilled in the kitchen department. I'm doing a fair bit of cooking now but I am still craving some kind of 'treat' food since I have had to cut out, chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc of the shop bought kind. Date and nut bars are definitely an agreeable alternative for me. I've always liked fruit and nut style bars but the commercial ones tend to have ingredients in them that are not on my 'ok' list. The 'ok' ones are quite pricey for such a small bar and not widely available; as low as 68p and as high as 90p for the same thing (Nakd bars).

We have a new whizzy cutty shreddy machine which didn't look up to the task of blitzing dates, let alone with a handful of nuts and seeds thrown in. I had visions of it coming to a grinding halt with a big sticky mess to deal with. Not so!

I soaked 10 dates in just enough water to cover them, for an hour. I took the stones out and blitzed five to begin with. It worked a treat so I put the next five in, no problem. I then threw in a small handful of mixed nuts and a small handful of seeds; judging by eye to get the ratio of dates to seeds and nuts just right. It scooped out of the container without too much difficulty and onto a sheet of cling film. I loosely wrapped it up and was then able to roll it into a slab without it sticking to the rolling pin.

Even after a spell in the fridge it was still sticky to handle so I sprinkled with dessicated coconut on both sides and 'rollered' that in with a rolling pin as before. Here's what it looked like before the coocnut treatment...

It made four very generous size bars which I just cut into three squares for the photo at the beginning of this post (the cost at most was roughly £1). I think small 'Ferrero Rocher' size balls placed in small paper cups would be a pretty nifty way of presenting these. The coconut is obviously optional, you could roll them in sesame seeds or other small size seeds or nuts to finish. You could also throw in a handful of raisins, apricots or cherries. It's definitely not rocket science. If I can do it, a four year old could do it!

This is what I used to do the blitzing: Duronic Compact Multi Chopper (not the most robust looking thing but seems to do the job).

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