Recipe: Date, oat and pecan bars

Looking for a healthy treat? Mercy Fenton has the perfect option, with these easy to make, full of goodness, date bars.
Recipe: Date, oat and pecan bars
Date, Oat & Nut Bars, by Mercy Fenton. Picture: Jim Coughlan

These date bars are so easy to make that it’s hard to believe they are so delicious and full of goodness. You can keep them simple with just dates and oats or add other seeds and nuts. I’ve added pecan nuts and sultanas and I love them — the biggest problem is, I think you might keep going back for more! With such pure natural ingredients, these bars will suit many diets with a little care in purchasing (gluten, egg- and dairy-free). These bars are brilliant as a healthy treat if you’re going hiking or having an active, outdoor day.


300gr pitted dates

500ml water

½ tsp. bread soda

180 gr rolled oats (certified gluten free for your gluten free friends)

100 gr chopped pecans (toasted)

120 gr sultanas

30 gr ground almond

2 tbsp. honey

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Grated zest of 1 orange

100 gr dark chocolate (vegan if you want to make vegan bars)


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Grease and line an 18 x 28 cm Rectangular tin (Swiss roll tin).
  • Put the chopped dates in a saucepan with the water, bring to the boil, and then simmer gently for five to ten minutes until soft and starting to thicken.
  • Add the bread soda and stir — the mix will foam up. That’s fine.
  • Next add the oats, pecans sultanas and honey.
  • Mix everything well then scrape into the prepared tin.
  • Spread evenly into the corners and smooth the mixture as much as possible.
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.
  • Allow to cool completely before coating with chocolate.
  • To melt chocolate place in a bowl over a pot of boiled water, then turn off the heat.
  • The steam from the boiled water will be enough to melt the chocolate (ensure the bowl is not touching the water).
  • After about five minutes stir the chocolate to ensure no lumps remain, lift the bowl off the pot and dry the base with a tea towel then scrape onto the cool date bars.
  • Spread a thin even layer over the bars, and then allow to set at room temperature or ideally overnight in a cool room.
  • To portion use a hot dry knife as this will allow you to cut through the chocolate layer without cracking the chocolate.

* If you want to contact Mercy email

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