While I’m not a vegan (and never could be), I like following people who are on Instagram for healthy food inspiration, especially trying to come up with different healthier snacks for Nicholas. One of my favourite vegan Instagrammers is the lovely Two Minute Vegan (@twominutevegan).
A few weeks back she came up with a great idea for a two-ingredient healthy snack bar using just dates and peanuts. I just had to try it!
Blending up the dates into a sticky purée produces a wonderfully sweet caramel-like flavour in the finished bites and a seemingly naughty chewy texture. They really do taste like a sugary treat rather than a healthy snack.
The original recipe has a layer of peanuts on the bottom as well as on the top which works well if you’re cutting them into bars, but I just put peanuts on top. Even after cooking they’re quite squidgy, so it’s better to cut them into smaller pieces to avoid a sticky mess particularly with little ones.
Because of their squidgy soft texture, I think this recipe would also be great as pop-in-the-mouth balls, rolled in crushed peanuts before baking.
You really must try making these addictive bites!
SUGAR-FREE PEANUT AND DATE BITES
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins plus 30 mins in the fridge to harden
Makes 16 squares
Keeps in the fridge for a couple of days
1 1/2 cups unsalted peanuts
1 1/2 cups dates, roughly chopped
Heat your oven to 175C and line a square baking tin (mine is 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.
Put 1 cup of the peanuts in a food processor and grind until they’re fairly evenly broken up into small pieces.
Add the chopped dates and blend while pouring in two tablespoons of water. Keep adding a little water until you have a thick paste (similar in consistency to a thick peanut butter).
Spread the date and peanut mixture into your prepared tin using the back of a spoon (wet it if the mixture keeps sticking to it). Sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of peanuts and press them in.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Put the bites, still in the tin, in the fridge to harden (at least half an hour) then cut into squares.