Don’t let the step-by-step instructions deter you. Mix it all together. Press in pan. Chill. It really is that easy.
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency.
Note: if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. It shouldn’t be necessary if you find fresh, sticky moist dates.
Toast oats in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so, until slightly golden brown. Optional: skip toasting and just leave them raw.
Toast almonds in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or so, until slightly golden brown. Optional: skip toasting and just leave them raw.
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 (stir in any optional ingredients at this point), transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish which you’ve lined with parchment paper.
Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. Tip: use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove bars from pan (lifting carefully by lined parchment paper) and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days or in the freezer.