Oat-Date Bars

Makes 12 bars / These simple but flavor-packed bars provide heart-healthy fiber, good fats, and aromatic ingredients such as cinnamon and agave nectar (look for agave in the honey section of your natural products store).

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole-grain O-shaped cereal, or granola
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
11/2 cups dates, pitted and chopped (about 12 large dates)
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon butter or canola oil
1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together oats, cereal, and sesame seeds; spread on a baking sheet and toast in oven, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped dates, almonds, and wheat germ. Toss with hands until well-mixed, breaking up clumps.

2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter, or heat oil. Add agave nectar or honey, stirring until bubbly. Stir in almond butter and cinnamon until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and mix together quickly.

3. Press mixture into a 9x13-inch pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cut into bars and wrap separately in waxed paper. Store in refrigerator.

Source: James Rouse, ND.