We visited Good Morning Arizona at Channel 3 to show off some easy to make, all natural and healthy after school (or work) snacks everyone will enjoy. Swap out ingredients for your favorite nuts and dried fruits, or add some cacao powder for a chocolate treat.

PB&J DATE BARS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1¾ cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries (or naturally sweetened if you can't find unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup whole blanched peanuts
  • ½ cup regular or gluten free quick oats

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak the dates in warm water for 15 minutes, and drain.
  2. Place dates, dried cranberries, peanuts, peanut butter, and oats in a food processor and blend until combined well.
  3. Scoop mixture into a square baking pan, and firmly press down to make an even layer.
  4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to set, then cut into 8 rectangle bars.
  5. Store in the freezer or fridge.

ALMOND DATE ENERGY BALLS

makes about 2 dozen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups almonds, raw
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups soft Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the almonds and coconut until crumbly. Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt and process again until a sticky, uniform batter is formed.

Scoop into tablespoons and roll between into balls. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place in the freezer to set for at least an hour before serving. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for an even longer shelf life.

COCONUT CASHEW DATE BALLS

INGREDIENTS:

  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • 10 medjool dates, pits removed
  • ½ cup coconut, shredded, divided
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put cashews in a food processor and pulsate for 10 seconds.
  2. Add pitted dates, ¼ cup coconut flakes, 1 tbs coconut oil and water. Process for a minute or until the mixture comes together and no big nuts or dates remain.
  3. With a tablespoon scoop or a spoon scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll in between hands to form a ball.
  4. Put remaining shredded coconut in a bowl, and then roll the ball in the coconut. Place ball in a mini muffin liner and refrigerate for an hour and then serve.Store in refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE NUT ENERGY BARS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Cups Cashew Nuts (raw)
  • ½ Cup Almond (Raw, without skin)
  • ¾ Cup Cocoa Powder
  • A Pinch Of Sea Salt
  • ½ Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconuts
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp Cold Water

INSTRUCTIONS: 

Combine chopped dates, cashews, almonds, cocoa powder, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse and process all the ingredients together until the texture is coarse. Then add the shredded coconut, a quick pulse, and add the vanilla extract, a little water at a time until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency. Scrape the dough mixture into the lined pan, press evenly with a rubber spatula, and chill for about an hour before serving.

APPLE CINNAMON OAT BARS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces pecans (2 cups)
  • 5 3/4 ounces rolled oats (2 cups)*
  • 8 1/4 ounces pitted and halved dates (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces chopped granny smith apples (or similar) (2 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS:  MAKES 10-12 BARS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Keep the oven preheated to 350°F. Line an 8" square pan or a 12" x 5 1/2" biscotti pan with parchment paper, leaving enough parchment on the sides to use as "handles" for pulling out the finished bars.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.