Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe- Sports Nutrition

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This week we are talking about sports nutrition, and keeping kids fit!  Follow our conversation in social media at #fitkidsfood.  Today, I have the perfect energy bar for kids involved with competitive sports.  (Even if you aren’t in sports, you’re going to want to make these! They are amazing!)

Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.

First of all, our go-to snacks for kids that need extra energy has always been Almonds and Dates.  They are portable, filling, not too expensive, and my kids have always like them. Not only are they an easy addition to any backpack, they are also full of nutrients necessary for that competitive edge.

Almonds

Almonds are a very good source of manganese and copper, two trace minerals that are essential cofactors of a key oxidative enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), thus keeping our energy flowing. Fortunately, Mother Nature supplies both mineral cofactors in almonds. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) also plays at least two important roles in the body’s energy production. (Source)
Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.

Dates

Dates are an energy-dense food packed with carbohydrates including sucrose, fructose and glucose. The European Food Information Council notes that these natural sugars make fresh and dried dates a good food for boosting energy quickly. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, 100 grams of dates — about 4 or 5 medium-sized dates — contain approximately 75 grams of carbohydrates and 1.81 grams of protein, which together provide 277 kilocalories. (Source)

During a recent trip to the California Health & Longevity Institute, these Dole Date Almond Energy Bars were on the menu for breakfast.  Of all the amazing food that came out of that kitchen, this was my absolute favorite recipe!  My little soccer player was already eating almonds and dates for games, so I absolutely couldn’t wait to make these bars for my little athlete.

Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.
Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.
Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.
Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.

So, in addition to feeding your athletes almonds and dates- considering using this Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe and making them for their backpacks as well! *Full recipe below.

These bars have been the perfect alternative to the plain dates and almonds my little soccer player normally takes in his backpack.  We even portioned them out so he could have them in single servings.  So much better than fruit snacks and fake juices as a sports snack!


The Dole Event!

It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Dole Brand.  We are not sponsored by Dole (or any other company for that matter), but when the opportunity came up for me to visit their headquarters in California, I immediately said yes.  Dole Foods are an easy way to add fruits and vegetables to our kids diets. Their foods are 99% GMO Free (which they will begin adding to their labels this year).   Their packaged foods are a great way to get whole fruits, without added sugar.  Their frozen fruits, dried, and canned fruits can all can be found without chemicals or sugar.

There is absolutely a difference between industrial foods and packaged or processed foods.  We actually include some packaged foods (like the ones below) in our home for convenience, although we stay away from industrial foods (foods that can only be made in a lab or manufacturing plant using chemicals and preservatives). Some of our favorite Dole packaged foods include their dates, which we used for the Energy bars of course.

Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.

smoothies

Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.

And a new product they have, which we taste tested at the Dole headquarters, Squish-ems. Which are literally only fruit!  These are perfect snack for your little ones on the go, at the park, in your swim bag, etc.

Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe. These energy bars are so great for taking hiking or any adventures. The kids love them so much.

Lastly, if you are interested in cooking contests, Dole has an annual cook-off that is worth $25,000!  They just launched their new contest and you can check it out here.

Dole Date Almond Energy Bar Recipe- Sports Nutrition

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup quick oats, dry
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dole whole pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Line an 8X8 inch pan with parchment paper with an overlap on each side of pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, wheat germ, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the dates.
  • In another bowl, thoroughly whisk the honey, olive oil, almond butter, almond extract, and zest.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan, pack firmly into pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown at the edges.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Using the overlap of parchment, lift bars out of pan. Place on rack and cool completely. Cut into 12 squares.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!

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38 Comments

Do you think I can sub cashews or peanuts for almonds and almond butter? I love almonds but my oldest daughter is allergic. These look fantastic!

Sorry if this should be obvious, but I’m very new at cooking healthy. Does this recipe have gluten? If so, how can I make it gluten free?

Healthy Mama- these are not gluten free. You would need to substitute the whole wheat flour and the wheat germ to make it gluten free. (and check your oats as well!)

Hi! I noticed the directions for mixing the dry ingredients includes cinnamon, but cinnamon isn’t in the ingredient list. Could you please share how much cinnamon is suppose to be used? Thanks!

Hello,
Great recipe, would it be possible to substitute the oats for almond meal or almond pulp from when I made almond milk?
As i have lots of this in the freezer and I need to adapt the recipe to make gluten free!
thanks
sheryl

I just made these with my 7 year old and they have a great taste, but are really crumbly. I followed the recipe exactly except I subbed ground flax seed for the wheat germ. What should I add or increase to moisten these up a bit so they stick together well?

Mandy- I wish I knew! If anything I think your substitution would actually be more of a binder than the original recipe. Was your almond butter homemade? Maybe a little more almond butter if I tried it again. They taste SO good, I wish they worked out better for you!

I bake a similar recipe making it gluten free by substituting the wheat germ with Amaranth and the wheat flour with gluten free baking four. You can also use only the gluten free all purpose baking flour only. And make sure the oats are gluten free.

@sheryl, If you try it, will you let me know! Sounds like a great substitution! I think bars such as these are pretty flexible for making subs.

I’m gluten intolerant so I changed the recipe up a bit. I used quinoa flakes instead of oats, almond flour instead of WW, flax meal instead of wheat germ, coconut oil instead of olive oil, vanilla instead of almond extract and orange extract in place of the zest…these are so good, thanks for the base recipe!!

Hi,
Thank you for the great recipes!
I just wanted to ask, can I substitute the almond butter for normal butter at all?
Thank you

I am wanting to start a healthier cooking and baking regimin at home, but dont know where to start with all the different flours and paleo, wheat free and low calorie…. is there a way to simplify the grocery list to start?

Hi I would love to make these but have never seen almond butter in the uk. Can I make it myself or what should I substitute it with?

Hello, I wanted to ask what age you recommend introducing these. My daughter is 17 months and likes the packaged bars like Plum Organics and Ella’s Kitchen but I would rather make her something slightly healthier.

over 1 for sure, because of the honey. But after that, if you feel like your child won’t choke or can chew it up, then the ingredients are fine.

Erin, We are actually favorable to regular flours. There is no reason to remove these from a diet. Our best advice is to not eat excessive amounts of anything- bread, flours, calories, coconut flours- anything. We truly stand by moderation is the best for health!

Love your recipes!!! Do you think it would be fine to substitute the olive oil for coconut oil? Can’t wait to try these as a healthy snack for my 3 year old. Thank you for all your recipes!