1 heaping cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)
1/4 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup quick oats
2 vanilla beans
optional additions: carob chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, shredded coconut, etc.
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a "dough" like consistency or into a ball. Either is fine.
Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl - set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8x8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with parchment paper so they lift out easily. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened .
Bake on 350 degree F oven for 10-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown and firm.
Allow bars to cool. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in.
You can also crush the bars and use as granola cereal!