Quick Energy on the GO!!!!

    Classes have started and I'm already tired. But a good tired. Well, maybe a little bit of an anxious tired, too. Regardless, these four years are going to be tough, but in the end I'll be doing the only thing that can make me happy day in and day out. So that's a good motivating factors on the days I just want to flop on the bed and just reject studying anymore.

    I wanted to share a recipe which has really helped me when I need to grab something on the go: date bars. I've loved dates since the beginning of time - especially with feta cheese - yum yum. My tastebuds are tickled just thinking about it. Dates have a lot of fiber, but also sugar so they are a really good pick-me-up in a pinch. I only use Majool dates because I think the flavor is better. They are also really fresh tasting and plump - I hate those small dry, crusty dates - not sure what they are called, but Persians can't stand them.

    I make my date bars with oats so they are also filling. These bars are perfect to pack in your lunchbox or just stick in your backpack for a time when you're ravenous but still want a sweet treat. The worst feeling is grabbing lunch with friends and eyeing the candy bars, knowing you'll pay for it later.

    I got the recipe from the Food Network website. My alterations are included.

    What You Need for the Filling:

    3 cups chopped dates
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cups water

    What You Need for the Bars:

    3/4 cups brown sugar
    1 3/4 cups flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups oats
    1 1/2 sticks butter cut into small pieces

    What You Do:

    Cook down the filling ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is nice and thick. Let it cool completely - I put it in the fridge for faster results.

    Mix the other ingredients and cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press about 2/3 of this into a Pyrex dish, layer the date mix on top, then the rest of the butter/oatmeal mixture and pack down slightly.

    Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

    *I found the bars to be too sweet for me, and too crumbly. I think what I'll do next time is use my tried and true granola bar recipe and just add dates to it. I don't really like adding all the extra sugar and butter - honey and grapeseed oil is much healthier and gives a better texture.

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