Photo Credit: Aaron Colussi

Date Syrup and Candy-Apple Granola Bars


Date syrup is a great natural-sugar alternative in these yummy, easy-to-make granola bars.

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Turn healthy dates into a sweetener. Date syrup is easy to make, and is a great binder for granola bars. It contains about 33 percent less sugar than table sugar, and adds a caramel flavor to recipes.

Makes: 2 cups
Author: Dina Deleasa-Gonsar,

Date Syrup


  • 2 pounds dried dates, pitted
  • 8 cups water


  1. Chop dates using kitchen shears. Place dates and water in a saucepan, simmer 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cool, and then transfer to blender or food processor; blend until smooth.
  2. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Pour date puree through. Pull sides of cheesecloth together, and twist to press out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Put liquid back into saucepan, and simmer until it thickens, about 20 minutes. Cool before using. Date syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks.

For baking, use 2/3 cup date syrup for every 1 cup granulated sugar, and reduce liquid in recipe.

Candy Apple Granola Bars

Recipe Type: Snack
Serves: 12-15
Author: Dina Deleasa-Gonsar,


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1½ cups date syrup
  • ½ cup dried apples, chopped (use kitchen shears to cut into pieces)
  • ¼ cup dried goji berries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup almond butter

To make sauce, place diced cucumber in a colander; press out excess water with piece of paper towel. Place cucumbers in a bowl, add all ingredients, and stir well.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving excess hanging over sides for easy removal later. Also line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed on baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes, or until oats begin to brown. Remove from oven, let cool, and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil, honey and date syrup. Simmer 2–4 minutes. Let mixture cool.
  4. Add apples, goji berries, cinnamon and salt to mixing bowl with oats. Stir ingredients together. Add almond butter and date-syrup mixture. Stir until everything is well-coated. You may need to get your hands in there!
  5. Press into prepared baking dish. Use another piece of parchment paper on top to pack mixture down, and press it into the corners.
  6. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour before removing from baking dish to cut into bars.


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