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Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Fun and Fruity Date Cookie Bars

Bars or cookies…you decide!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe for a good pre / post workout snack. While cleaning out my pantry this weekend, I realized I had Medjool dates that needed to be used. I bought them a while back for a copy cat Lara Bar recipe I never got around to making so I grabbed what items I did have, and threw them in my food processor a voila! I bring you my version of a snack I like to call Fun and Fruity Date Cookie Bars.

While these bars aren’t exactly like the bars you can buy at the store, they are less expensive and easy to make. Chances are you’ll even have all or most of the ingredients in your home already. They are easy to make and super portable. I keep them in the fridge at work for when I need a little pick me up. I hope you like them!


    • 2 cups pitted Medjool dates
    • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds, or cashews work well)
    • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
    • 1 cup dried apples or dried pears
    • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. raw honey*
    • baking sheet
    • parchment paper
    • rolling pin

Dates can range in price from cheap to fairly expensive. If you buy them with the pits still inside, they are less expensive. It’s really easy to pit a date; all you need is a sharp knife to slice them lengthwise to open them. The pit will pop right out!

To make: Total time is about 10-12 minutes.

      1. Add the dates to a food processor. I used my Ninja Kitchen System and it did a great job.
      2. After the dates have broken up into small pieces, add the nuts. Blend for another 20 seconds.
      3. Add the dried raisins, apples, or other dried fruit you selected and pulse for 10 seconds at a time. You want the mix to stick together but remain chunky. *If your mixtures isn’t sticky enough, add 1 two 2 teaspoons of honey.
      4. Tear off enough parchment paper to cover your baking sheet, and dump the date mixture on top. Spread out the mixture evenly and top with another large piece of parchment paper. Here is where you get to decide if you want to cut your mixture into 4″ bars or press them into cookies. I opted for the latter, since my first attempt at this recipe was a bit dry. I found that using my bare hands to form them into a patty shape worked well. However, you can decide what would be more pleasing to you.
      5. Wrap each individual bar in parchment before storing in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag.

These bars will keep in the fridge for several weeks. You can also keep them in the freezer if you decide to double or triple the batch. Play around with ingredients to suit your taste. These treats are fairly high in carbs, so they will give you enough energy for an intense workout or run, or provide you with post-race fuel. I like to snack on them when I’m craving something sweet but I don’t want to reach for a candy bar or cookie. Enjoy!

About Abby Meek (119 Articles)
Abby was raised in Tigard, Oregon and moved to Denver, Colorado in 2007. While in Colorado she ran her first 5K, which led to a 10K, which led to a half-marathon. Abby moved back to her native Oregon in mid- 2015 and has since completed more 5K's, 10K's and more half-marathons. Abby's favorite distances are the 10K and the half marathon.

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