These bars are perfect to snack on while on the go or simply to enjoy on a quiet afternoon with a cup of tea. They are chewy, crunchy, and wholesome – the ultimate snack trifecta, in my opinion. Flavored with lemon, cinnamon, cardamom, and deliciously nutty tahini, you will get a burst of flavors with every bite. They only take a few minutes to prepare and will keep well for about a week so as long as you keep them stored in an airtight container. Feel free to customize some of the nuts and seeds to your taste!
Having grown up with ingredients such as dates and tahini, I am really glad such flavors have come to the mainstream and more Americans, and Westerners in general, are incorporating them into their lifestyles. They are not only delicious, but superfoods in every sense of the word. Both dates and tahini are rich in minerals, and dates are an excellent source of energy and fiber. They are always in my pantry for daily use, especially for snacks like these.
As one of my best friends, Christine, has a sensitivity to dairy, I often have her in mind when developing recipes. Even though we are currently thousands of miles away, we connect through each other’s kitchens . She tests my recipes in D.C. and by experiencing the same flavors, our conversations continue. So this recipe, which is free of dairy, gluten, and refined sugar is for her and for all of those who have a food sensitivity but do not believe in giving up flavor.. or sweet treats!
– Hanady xx
INGREDIENTS/ MAKES ABOUT 24 BARS
3/4 cup almonds, divided
1 cup dried desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
10 medjool dates, pits removed and coarsely chopped
zest of 2 large lemons
6 tablespoons tahini, plus more for greasing
4 teaspoons sesame seeds, divided
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds, optional
1. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F and grease a 12 by 9 in. rectangular pan with 1 tablespoon of tahini. You may also use a smaller pan such as an 8×8 in. square pan for thicker bars.
2. Biltz together 1/2 cup almonds, dried coconut, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the dates, 6 tablespoons tahini, lemon zest, 2 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and honey and blitz again for about 1 minute or until the mixture comes together when you shape it into a ball. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet and press down using your hands to flatten. Add the remaining 1/4 cup almonds, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds, and continue to press down the surface until even.
3. Bake for 20 minutes and leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing it. The bars store well in an airtight container for up to a week, although they rarely last that long in my kitchen!