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Sesame Date Bars

Yield Serves 16
Time: 1 hour, plus 30 minutes to chill. Loaded with good-for-you ingredients, these not-too-sweet bars still taste like a treat, and they'll withstand cold, heat, and being stuffed in a backpack or pocket.

Ingredients

  • Cooking-oil spray
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 3 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. honey
  • Finely shredded zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 235
  • caloriesfromfat 38 %
  • protein 6.7 g
  • fat 10 g
  • satfat 1.5 g
  • carbohydrate 35 g
  • fiber 5.2 g
  • sodium 109 mg
  • cholesterol 13 mg

How to Make It

  1. Line a 9- by 13-in. pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on the 9-in. sides, and coat with cooking-oil spray. In a large bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, flax seeds, flour, baking powder, salt, and dates until well blended.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together tahini, milk, egg, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.

  3. Add flour mixture to tahini mixture and beat until completely blended. Scrape dough into pan and, with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and evenly (dough is sticky, so you may need to wash your hands a few times). Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°. Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut straight down lengthwise through middle, then crosswise to make 16 bars, each 1 1/2 in. wide. Place bars about 1 in. apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

  5. Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

  6. Make ahead: Store airtight up to 2 weeks or freeze.

  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per bar.