Pistachio Cranberry Bars

Happy Monday!  This week for Meatless Monday’s From A to Z we are on the letter P for Pistachio.

I love pistachios, though I do not eat them nearly enough.  Usually I eat them at my grandparent’s house when we’re all sitting around and there’s a bowl of them out on the table.  Now that I went out to buy a big bag for this weeks recipe, maybe I’ll start snacking on them more.  They are such a heart healthy nut!

I really wanted to try to make a pudding with the pistachios because that just sounded so tasty.  But I would have had to put more thought into that and unfortunately did not have time.  Maybe another day I can try out a pistachio pudding.   I also thought about making a pistachio pesto sauce to put over noodles.  But late Saturday night as I was making dinner, I really didn’t want to experiment with different spices and possibly not like my pesto sauce (I either love or hate certain types of pesto).

Then, I came across a recipe that had pistachios and cranberries!  Those two ingredients together sounded absolutely amazing.  Unlike the original recipe, I turned these into bars.  I wanted to have a portable healthy snack ready to go for school or work.  I also omitted the cocoa powder.  I was all set on adding it, but once I mixed the other ingredients, it looked so pretty I didn’t want to add a brown color.  I’m sure the chocolate flavor would be amazing though and definitely want to try it next time.

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 12 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup gf rolled oats
Directions:
  1. Soak dates in warm water for about an hour.  Alternatively, heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until everything is incorporated.*  (Pulse less for more texture, and pulse longer for a more smooth bar.)
  3. Roll dough into a big ball and place on wax paper.  Lay another sheet of wax paper on top of the dough ball.
  4. Roll dough out to form a big rectangle.  Cut into bars, wrap individually in wax paper, and store in the fridge.  (I was able to make 6 bars).
* I mixed all my ingredients in the food processor for about 15 seconds, then I removed half the dough and set it aside in a bowl.  I then continued to mix the remaining dough for a little longer.  This allowed half the dough to get really smooth and the other half to get mixed together but still had a lot of texture.  I then combined both sets of dough for a smooth bar with some crunch!   It worked perfectly!

I love the healthy, natural ingredients in this bar!

Based on 6 bars, each bar yields approximately 147 calories and 3.5g protein.
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