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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Marsh

Heavenly Apple Pecan Date Bars

Heavenly Apple Pecan Date Bars: A Nutty Delight with Sunflower Butter, Chocolate Drizzle, and a Delicious Mistake!

Heavenly Apple Pecan Date Bars

Hey there, fellow dessert enthusiasts! October is here, and you know what that means – it's National Dessert Month! 🍰🍪🍫 To celebrate, I've been experimenting with some delightful treats, and today I'm sharing a recipe for my Heavenly Apple Pecan Date Bars.


These bars are the perfect blend of wholesome ingredients and indulgent flavors. They're packed with sweet, crunchy, and nutty goodness, and they've got a surprise twist – a luscious chocolate drizzle. But I have a little confession to make about that drizzle...


I got a bit too excited when making these bars and decided to cover them with chocolate before cutting them into individual pieces. 🙈 The result? Some beautiful photos that show the cracked chocolate layer, but I promise you, they're still super yummy! So, if you're a fellow chocolate lover, you might want to follow in my footsteps and double up on the chocolate drizzle. I mean, can you ever really have too much chocolate? 😋🍫


These bars are the perfect blend of wholesome ingredients and indulgent flavors. Plus, they come with a dose of natural goodness. Let's dive into the recipe, explore the healthy benefits of the ingredients, and discuss storage recommendations.


Healthy Benefits:
  • Apples: You've heard the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Apples are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, which can support your immune system and digestive health.

  • Dates: Dates are nature's candy. They provide natural sweetness, fiber, and essential nutrients like potassium and magnesium. They're also great for energy and heart health.

  • Pecans: Pecans are a fantastic source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. They're rich in monounsaturated fats and contain antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

  • Sunflower Butter: A great alternative to traditional nut butter for those with nut allergies. It's packed with healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E, which supports skin and immune health.

  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is not only a flavor enhancer but also has potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar control.

Now, let's dive into the recipe and whip up these delectable Apple Pecan Date Bars with Sunflower Butter and Chocolate Drizzle.


Heavenly Apple Pecan Date Bars Recipe:


Ingredients:

For the Bars:

  • 2 cups sliced apples (about 2 medium apples, preferably sweet varieties like Honeycrisp or Fuji)

  • 1 cup pitted and chopped dates

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter

  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, chopped dates, chopped pecans, sunflower butter, honey (or maple syrup), vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and salt. Mix everything together until it forms a cohesive mixture.

  3. Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking dish, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to even it out.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and the bars are set.

  5. While the bars are cooling, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut oil. Now, you have a choice: go for the standard chocolate drizzle or indulge yourself with extra chocolatey goodness. You can see from my photos that I couldn't resist going all in!

  6. Once the bars have cooled, cut them into squares or bars. Yes, remember to cut them first, and then drizzle with chocolate.

  • Serving Option 1 (Standard): Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the bars using a spoon or a piping bag. Allow the chocolate to set.

  • Serving Option 2 (Extra Chocolatey): Double up the chocolate drizzle by adding another 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and an additional 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Spread chocolate over the top of the bars, flip over, spread more chocolate on the opposite side and allow it to set.

Note: It's important to cut the bars into individual pieces before applying the chocolate drizzle. If, like the note suggests, you accidentally covered the bars with chocolate before cutting, don't worry if the chocolate cracks. They will still be super yummy!


Storage Recommendations:

  • These bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

  • You can also freeze them for up to 2-3 months. Just make sure to separate layers with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Estimated Nutrition Facts (with the additional chocolate drizzle):

(assuming you cut the batch into 12 equal bars)


Nutrition per Serving:

  • Calories: 240

  • Total Fat: 14g

    • Saturated Fat: 3g

  • Cholesterol: 0mg

  • Sodium: 102mg

  • Total Carbohydrates: 29g

    • Dietary Fiber: 4g

    • Sugars: 20g

  • Protein: 5g

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Vitamin A: 2%

  • Vitamin C: 6%

  • Calcium: 4%

  • Iron: 8%

  • Potassium: 210mg

Please note that these are approximate values and can vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients you use. Additionally, the additional chocolate drizzle is included in these estimates, so if you decide to skip the drizzle or use less chocolate, the calorie and fat content will be lower.


Keep in mind that these bars contain healthy fats from nuts and sunflower butter, and they're a source of natural sugars from dates and apples. They also offer dietary fiber, which helps with digestion. While they make for a delicious treat, they can also be a nutritious snack when enjoyed in moderation.


These Apple Pecan Date Bars are a true delight and a sweet celebration of National Dessert Month. I hope you give them a try and enjoy every nutty, fruity, and chocolatey bite. Don't let my little chocolate mishap discourage you – the flavor is what matters most, and they taste absolutely divine!


So, whether you're treating yourself or sharing with friends and family, these bars are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth this October. Happy National Dessert Month, everyone! 🎉🍂✨


Disclaimer: Nutritional values are estimates, and it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for dietary needs. The views expressed are for informational purposes; exercise caution and consider dietary restrictions when making and enjoying these bars.



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