This healthy gluten-free date bars recipe is easy, delicious, and, of course, vegan! And you probably already have everything that you need to make these vegan date squares of lusciousness! We use the Deglet Noor pitted dates from Costco for this recipe, although of course you can use other dates. Deglet Noor dates are perfect little powerhouses of nutrients and energy (not to mention that they taste wonderful! Sweet, but not too sweet!) Deglet Noor dates contain fiber, protein, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, B6, flavanoids and carotenoids! Who knew that these sweet little fruits were so healthful??
(A note about the use of “healthful” versus “healthy”. Even though “healthy” has come to be used synonymously with “healthful”, and even though we capitulated to that use ourselves in the first sentence, we have always been taught that “healthful” refers to something that is good for you, and “healthy” means a being that is in good health (or something that is robust), and that is how we generally use the two terms, rather than them being interchangeable. And Grammarist agrees. :~) And don’t even get us started on “child psychologist”. )
Anyways, back to our date bars (what do you call them, date bars or date squares? Let us know in a comment!) Our date barsquares (there ya go!) are built in part using similar methods to our Easy & Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Bars, but not identically. You will need oats or oat flour, solid coconut oil, pecans or walnuts, and, of course, dates. Speaking of dates, one of our new favorite places to visit on the Internet is Woodspur Date Farms, it’s a site full of great information about dates! (This is not an affiliate link, we just love them!)
The Best Gluten-Free Vegan Date Bar Recipe
1 1/2 cups quick or rolled oats, or 1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
up to 1/4 cup filtered water
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup solid coconut oil
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
2 cups Deglet Noor dates
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with solid coconut oil.
Put the dates in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover the dates; let them soak while you prepare the bottom layer.
Place the oats for the bottom layer into a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and process the oats into oat flour (if you already have oat flour you can use that instead, just put it in the bowl of your food processor). Drop the coconut oil by spoonfuls onto the oat flour in the food processor, and then pulse the processor until the coconut oil is cut into the flour in little lumps about the size of peas. At that point turn the food processor back on and start drizzling water through the top until a ball of dough forms, and then immediately turn your food processor off.
Put a light coating of coconut oil on your hands and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared 8×8 pan. Set aside.
Don’t put the bowl of your food processor in the sink, you are going to use it two more times!
Drain the dates, put them in the food processor, and process them into a smooth paste. It’s ok to add a tiny bit of water to help it along if the paste doesn’t smooth out after a few minutes.
Spread the date filling evenly on top of the bottom layer in the pan.
Now make the topping. Start by putting 1/2 cup of the oats for the topping into the food processor and processing it into flour. Add the rest of the oats and the nuts and process until they are finely chopped. Drop the coconut oil by spoonfuls into the food processor and pulse until the coconut oil is cut in and the topping has lumps in it no bigger than peas.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the date filling, put the pan in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the topping begins to turn golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack until completely cool. Do not try to cut these until they are completely cooled!
Cut into bars (or squares!) and serve.
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5 thoughts on “The Best Gluten-Free Vegan Date Bar Recipe is Easy, Delicious, and Healthful!”
Are the proportions correct for the coconut oil in the top layer? 3/4 cup? There was no “sprinkling” of that layer with it as written… it was a paste. And the end result was a gloppy mess.
Hi Calee, the proportions are correct, however if you ended up with a paste that means that you processed it instead of just pulsing it and cutting it in. 🙁 If your processor doesn’t have a finely-controlled pulse option, then doing it by hand with two knives is an option. The coconut oil should be solid, and then be cut in until it is in little lumps no smaller than peas.
Yes, but of course the oil melted when it was baking and it was a soup on top of the bars! I had to bake it almost 20 minutes longer than recommended. The oil taste it so strong in that layer, it kinds of ruins the bar. I’m removing it before eating because the other two are good.
That is so odd; with 2 cups of oats+nuts, to just 3/4 cup solid cut-in “shortening”, there should have been no problem. Typically such an issue would be, perhaps, too low a temperature so that the fat can melt before the flour/nuts around it can work their magic, or possibly being made in a larger pan so that the topping is spread out too thin, but we’re guessing you did it exactly to specifications. We really have no idea, but if you make it again and figure it out please let us know! We’re sorry that you had that experience!
P.S Calee, based on your feedback we’re changing the amount to 1/2 cup (we have used this proportion successfully in another recipe), we are more concerned about what didn’t work for a reader than about what did work for us. If you try the recipe again, please try it with a half cup and let us know!