I would like to substitute other fruits (e.g. apples, apricots etc.) for the dates in Nigella's Breakfast Bars 2.0 as I just don't like dates! Are there any other options please? Also would I need to add something like an agave syrup with these other fruits for 'stickiness.' Many thanks!
Nigella's Breakfast Bars 2.0 (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) uses medjool dates as both a sweetener and a binder for the grain and seed-studded bars. Medjool dates are particularly plump and soft dates and there is a suggested alternative for using 350g of dried pitted dates as an alternative, with extra water and a longer simmering time - we suspect this would be the best measurements and method to use if you are considering alternative fruits.
You may be able to use another dried fruit, though dates are preferred as they do seem to have a fibrous structure that helps to bind together baked goods. We wonder if dried figs may be a good alternative as they are also slightly "sticky". Otherwise pitted dried prunes or dried apricots could possibly be used. Most of the alternatives are slightly lower in sugar than dried dates and so you could add 1-2 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey to help the mixture to hold together and to add a little extra sweetness. However as we have not tried any of these alternatives, we are unable to guarantee the results.