Howie Bars

When we were young there was one thing that we loved to do with our dad more than anything else. That one thing was “going on break.” We knew this took place every afternoon and included going to see our dad’s friend Howie who owned the local gas station. We would visit with the regulars and have a candy bar. It was awesome!

Looking back, “going on break” was just as much about taking time to see friends as it was enjoying a sweet treat. Though candy bars are no longer something we enjoy, “going on break” will always be part of our vocabulary. A break offers a great opportunity to enjoy a treat packed with whole, plant-based ingredients with a friend.

 

Date Bars

 

So what’s a healthy option for that afternoon pick-me-up?

Standing in front of the hundreds of granola and protein bar options at the typical grocery, I struggle to find one that I can feel good about eating or recommending. Here’s the way I see it.. Option 1: spend your life savings on a so-so option. Option 2: buy a bar that is full of crap. One popular brand that I looked at recently had 37 INGREDIENTS! That’s insane! And most of the ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce.

I’ll go with Option 3: make my own! Our Howie Bars have just a handful of ingredients, all whole, plant-based foods. The batches below are big (~15 bars) so you always have a quick, on-the-go snack to share with friends.

In honor of our memories of “going on break,” we created a Howie Bar flavor to meet anyone and everyone’s taste preference. These turned out so well that I made my dad a box of 150 bars for Christmas! If you’re interested in packaging your bars these self-sealing baggies worked great: BakeBaking 200 count Clear Bakery Bags (3″x5″)

These are delicious, rich and nutrient dense! This means a little bit goes a long way. We recommend keeping these bars pretty small and limiting it to one or two a day.

 

Granola Bars

Dark Chocolate Brownie Howie Bars

Blend a handful of plant-based ingredients into a delicious plant-based on-the-go treat!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Date Bars, Plant Based Bars, Plant Based Snack, Snack Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freeze: 30 minutes
Servings: 15 bars
Calories: 168kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 2 cups raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, soak dates with warm water for 10 minutes. Drain and lay out to dry on a clean towel.
  • Add nuts, cacao and salt to food processor and blend until finely chopped, about 10-20 seconds. Avoid over-blending into a paste. 
  • Drain water from date and add dates to food processor. Process into a thick dough. You will have to stop and scrape down the sides 2-3 times. Process until fully combined and no large chunks remain. 
  • Line a 9 inch square cake pan with parchment paper, scrape dough into pan and  use your hands to spread dough evenly throughout the pan. Getting your hands wet will keep them from sticking. 
  • To create smooth and even bars, lay another sheet of parchment paper on the top of the dough and firmly roll a smooth drinking glass over the dough until all dough is flat and even. 
  • Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove from freezer, cut into bars with a sharp knife and place in a sealed storage container. 

Notes

These can be rolled into balls or any other shape. The instructions above make nicely formed bars but, if you're in a hurry or not picky about presentation, simply form with a cookie dough scoop and allow to firm in the freezer. 
Bars will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature, 3 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer (if in airtight storage). We prefer eating these right out of the freezer! 

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @whollyplantsblog on Instagram and hashtag it #whollyplants

Granola Bars

Other Awesome Flavors:

Peanut Cookie Dough – Follow steps above, first processing dry ingredients (peanuts, cacao and salt) and then adding dates and vanilla extract.
– 2 cups pitted dates
– 2 cups roasted peanuts
– 1 T cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
– pinch of salt
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Peaches & Cream – Follow steps above, first processing dry ingredients (nuts, coconut, peaches and salt) and then adding dates and vanilla extract.
– 2 cups pitted dates
– 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
– 1/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut
– 1 ounce freeze dried peaches (about 1 cup of crumbled freeze dried peaches)
– pinch salt
– 2 tsp vanilla extract

Oatmeal Raisin – Follow steps above, soaking raisins just as you would soak the dates. Process dry ingredients (nuts, oats and salt) and then add raisins and vanilla extract.
– 2 cups raisins (unsweetened)
– 1 1/4 cup raw almonds
– 1 cup rolled oats
– pinch salt
– 2 tsp vanilla extract

Apricot – Follow steps above, soaking apricots just as you would soak the dates. Process dry ingredients (nuts, coconut, cinnamon and salt) and then add apricots.
– 2 cups dried apricots
– 1 cup raw almonds
– 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
– 1 cinnamon
– pinch salt

Cashew Coconut – Follow steps above, first processing dry ingredients (cashews, coconut, cinnamon and salt) and then adding dates and vanilla extract.
– 2 cups pitted dates
– 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
– 2/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– pinch salt
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pecan Pie – Follow steps above, first processing dry ingredients (nuts, cinnamon and salt) and then adding dates.
– 2 cups pitted dates
– 1 cup raw pecans
– 1 cup raw almonds
– 1 cinnamon
– pinch salt

Pumpkin Pie – Follow steps above, first processing dry ingredients (pepitas, nuts, spices and salt) and then adding dates.
– 2 cups pitted dates
– 1 cup raw pepitas
– 1 cup raw almonds
– 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp dried ginger
– 1/4 tsp cloves
– pinch salt

Key Lime – Follow steps above, first processing dry ingredients (nuts, coconut, flax, zest and salt) and then adding dates and lime juice.
– 2 cups pitted dates
– 3/4 cup raw walnuts
– 3/4 cup raw pecans
– 1/3 cup dried unsweetened coconut
– 1/2 cup flax
– 1 tsp lime zest (outer green layer of peel)
– pinch salt
– 1 T lime juice

 

Need help finding ingredients? Check out our Essential Ingredients post and get them delivered right to your door. The food processors that we use to make these can be found in the Kitchen Essentials post.



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