You might have some dates lying around, unused in your cupboard. We had quite a few, so we figured out what we needed to do — make oatmeal/date squares! You may have enjoyed this tasty but healthy snack when you were a child. Our version utilizes coconut oil instead of butter, and it tastes even better than the dairy-based variety.
You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to whip together this treat! You’ll only need six ingredients, and you can make your own oat flour from scratch. It’s a cinch — just grind oatmeal in your blender or food processor. It will turn into a fine powder. Oatmeal is packed with nutrients and protein, so your snack will be quite nutritious.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Oatmeal Date Squares
DATE LAYER INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups oat flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup melted coconut oil (Note: this may seem like a lot, but the non-vegan recipes all call for 3/4 to 1 cup of butter as well)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
a sprinkle or two of cinnamon powder
Place the pitted dates in a pan of hot water and let them soak for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, grind your oat flour. Stir it into a large mixing bowl with the rest of the crust ingredients. Your mixture should be slightly moist but still crumbly.
Drain the dates and place them in your blender or food processor. Whirl them into a thick paste. It’s okay if it has some small chunks in it. An uneven texture will work just fine.
Spray a square baking pan with some coconut spray or slather the inside with coconut oil. Spread half of the crust mixture across the bottom. Scoop the date mixture from your blender or food processor and carefully spread it across the top of the crust mixture. Then pour the rest of the crust mixture on top and smooth it with your spoon until you have an even layer.
Pop your pan into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. The oatmeal mixture should be slightly brown on top. Meanwhile, you’ll love the aroma that will fill your kitchen.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the date mixture cool for at least two hours. You can pop the pan into your fridge to speed up the process. But do allow your delicacy to cool so you are able to cut it into squares.
Cut the mixture into squares and dig right in! You should end up with about 8-10 squares, depending on size.
Leftovers store well in your refrigerator for up to a week (!) and you can even freeze them for later. But why bother? Enjoy these sweet, nutritious treats now!
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