Whether you’re heading back to school, to work, or to the desk in your second bedroom, these sticky, moreish snack bars are sure to keep you going all day.
If you haven’t heard of buckwheat groats, they act like a grain but are actually a gluten-free hulled seed and give these bars a delicious crunch. Toasting them along with the rest of the seeds, nuts and oats dials up their flavour, intensifying their nuttiness and transforming these bars into something really special.
While the cocoa powder doesn’t make these chocolatey as such, it adds a bitterness, which offsets the sweet dates and honey - do include it!
120g mixed nuts and seeds (I used almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds)
100g buckwheat groats
200g oats (ensure gluten-free if needed)
10 medjool dates, stones removed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons almond butter
75g runny honey
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine salt
100g dried figs, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan and line an 8 inch square cake tin with parchment paper.
Tip the nuts, seeds, buckwheat groats and oats out onto a baking tray. Shuffle them about so that they’re in a single layer and place in the oven to toast for 15-20 minutes, or until fragrant and just turning golden. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile add the dates to a large saucepan along with 200ml water. Cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, or until bubbling and starting to break down. Add in the almond butter, honey, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt and stir well to combine. Tip the toasted nuts, seeds, oats and buckwheat groats into the smooth date mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are fully coated.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and use a spatula to ease it into the corners. Tumble over the chopped figs and use wet hands to push them down into the top of the mixture.
Place the tin into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden at the edges. As with flapjacks - if you’d like the end result softer, slightly underbaking is the way to go, or if you’d prefer them to be crunchier, bake a little longer.
Allow to cool fully in the tin before placing in the fridge for at least an hour, or until chilled. This way you can cut into neat squares - store the cut squares in the fridge for snacks throughout the week.
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