Chewy Date and Walnut Bars

These chewy snack bars are a special treat for lunchboxes as well as for a midday snack or coffee break.

from ChangeOne.com

Only a little reduced-fat margarine and oil are needed for the dough. Dates are added for natural sweetness, and walnuts and sunflower seeds provide extra texture. The result is both nutritious and delicious.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes Number of Servings: 16 Preparation Time: 15 minutes

You Will Need Cooking spray 2 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine spread 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/4 cup light brown sugar 2 tablespoons honey Zest of 1 orange 2 tablespoons orange juice 1/3 cup dried pitted dates, chopped 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped 2 cups old-fashioned oats 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

What to Do 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place the margarine, oil, sugar, honey, and orange zest and juice in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until the margarine has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dates and walnuts. Add the oats, making sure they are evenly coated with the margarine mixture.

3. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan, pressing it down firmly and evenly. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the top and press down lightly to embed the seeds in the surface.

4. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. When cool, turn the bars out onto a cutting board and slice into 16 bars. The bars can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Per serving (1 bar): calories 103, fat 4 g, saturated fat 0 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 12 mg, carbohydrate 16 g, fiber 2 g, sugars 8 g, protein 2 g