This Thanksgiving, take a break from Pecan Pie and try these healthy Pecan Date Bars instead! They are easy to make and only 123 calories per serving!
Today I'm sending you some healthy pecan date bars from Toronto, Ontario. We arrived last Saturday after a 5-hour train ride from Montreal.
Surprisingly, the trip didn't feel that long at all. The train was very comfortable and they had a good quality wifi on board which allowed us to work, talk with our family in France and plan our 3 days in Toronto.
We'll definitely travel by train again next time we want to go there!
We only had a few days in Toronto (and still have a full day tomorrow as our next train is at 10 pm) but we can already tell that we LOVE this city.
It has a great vibe, with lots of cool stores and restaurants. Seriously, so.many.restaurants! Plus there's a ton of sushi shops so obviously, this is a major bonus point on my side, haha.
I'm sure it's a great city to live in and we can't wait to be back.
Tomorrow, we're starting the "wildlife and nature" part of our journey: we're boarding the trans-Canada train called The Canadian (see our whole Canadian/US itinerary here).
I think it's the part I'm most excited about – even though to be honest, I'm super excited about every single stop.
Anyways! Enough of my Canadian adventures, let's talk about FOOD! I like to think of these healthy pecan dates bars as an easier and skinny alternative to pecan pie.
They are very simple to make and have all the flavors you like in a pecan pie. Plus chocolate chips. You won't argue with the addition of chocolate chips, right?
It was my first time cooking with Bourbon and honestly, it's the main reason I wanted to give this recipe a go. I don't even like Bourbon as a drink but I've always been attracted to recipes using it. Don't ask me why my brain is weird sometimes.
Try these healthy pecan date bars for Friendsgiving, or if you want to try a lighter twist on Pecan Pie, this Thanksgiving!
If you tried this recipe for healthy pecan date bars, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!
Skinny Pecan Date Bars
This Thanksgiving, take a break from Pecan Pie and try these healthy Pecan Date Bars! They are easy to make and only 123 calories per serving!
- cooking spray
- 140 g all-purpose gluten free flour - 5 oz - 1 cup I used Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour – for best and consistent results, try to weigh the flour if you can – see notes if you want to use regular flour
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar - see notes
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter 60 g, chilled, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup real maple syrup
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar - see notes
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp all-purpose gluten-free flour I used Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour – see notes if you want to use regular flour
- 1 tbsp Bourbon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup Medjool dates pitted, chopped (about 7-8 dates)
- ½ cup pecans roughly chopped - divided in ¼ cup + ¼ cup
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Line a 11 x 7 inch / 27 x 17 cm baking pan neatly with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, coconut sugar (or brown sugar) and salt. Add butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. You can use a pastry cutter or just use your fingertips if you don't own one. Press the mixture into the bottom of prepared dish.
Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Reduce oven to 350F/176C.
In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, eggs, flour, Bourbon, vanilla extract and salt. Stir in dates, half of the pecans and chocolate chips.
Pour batter over crust, making sure dates and pecans are well distributed. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Bake for 35 minutes or until set. Chill for at least one hour or until firm. Cut into 24 squares (6 x 4). The bars can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the fridge.
- FLOUR – I tested this recipe using Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. Please note that if you use another brand of GF Flour, results could be slightly different. The original recipe called for 1 cup all purpose flour (the regular kind). If you don't want/need to use GF flour, you could use regular flour but I did not test it.
- SUGAR – Coconut sugar has a light caramel/butterscotch flavor which makes it perfect for these bars and is healthier than refined sugar. You can replace it with brown sugar, but I tested the recipe using coconut sugar.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
Bethany @ Athletic Avocado
I love the pecan and date combo!! Im sure it adds a slightly nutty and sweet flavor!! LOVE;)
It totally does! Thanks Bethany 🙂
About the maple syrup...2/4 cup, is that 1/2 a cup or did you mean 1/4 cup?
Glad you are enjoying your trip. Toronto truly has a restaurant for every type of cuisine in the world.
I meant 1/2 cup, thanks for spotting that! I just updated the recipe 🙂
Can't wait to try these! I'm from the deep South and we have pecans on practically everything. My mother has 4 pecan trees in her yard so you can imagine the bags we collect every fall.
I love pecans, you are SO lucky!! Do you eat them straight from the tree or do you need to dry them first? I'm a bit nut-ignorant haha.
Would love to try making this recipe, but don't have Bourbon in the house (not a fan and don't want to buy a bottle just for the recipe). Can you suggest an alternate... Amaretto? Grand Mariner? Or anything non-alcoholic?
I don't have a bottle either and like you I didn't want to buy one just for the recipe so I just bought a small "taster" bottle for just a couple of dollars 🙂 Otherwise, I'm really not an alcool specialist so I'm afraid I won't be able to suggest an alternative!
I would prefer these healthy bars over a sugar-loaded piece of pecan pie any day! 123 calories per serving? That means I get to eat at least 2! A winner in my book!
Dawn, Positive Poet, CreatetheDawn
A little too sweet for me, so I skipped the brown sugar in the filling and used 3/4 cup mixture of molasses, honey, and maple syrup. Oh and I didn't have pecans so used chopped hazelnuts. Oh and added cinnamon to the crust. Very good recipe and easy to modify with what you have in your pantry. -Dawn
Thanks for sharing your substitutions Dawn! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I added a sprinkle of cinnamon in both the crust and the filling. I also scaled back the maple syrup and used vegan butter spread instead of butter and close to 12 dates. I didn’t know what to expect - WOW these are excellent!!!
I am very pleased as these bars are soooo yummy!! Love this recipe. Thanks!
Thanks so much for this awesome review Liz, so glad you loved this recipe!
These look so good! What a great blend of different sweeteners!
Thanks so much, dear Suzanne! Happy you like the look of them!
Thanks for sharing! DO they keep long?
Hi Vanessa. The bars can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the fridge.
Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. I have such a sweet tooth so I'm always looking for healthy versions of my favourite desserts and sweet treats.
I've included this in my Recipe Roundup of recipes for 12 foods high in antioxidants.
Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipes!
Hi Freya! I will make sure to check it out! Thanks so much for including my recipe!
Any substitute for the dates?
Hi Katie. You could try dried figs! Feel free to let me know if you tried them using figs and how they turned out. Now I am interested myself haha. Have a great day.