Healthy oat and flax date squares with a crunchy whole grain crust and a gooey sugar-free date filling made with no dairy, eggs, or nuts!
This past weekend was a pretty low key one. The weather was gorgeous on Friday, so JZ and I went on a bike ride to the farmers market to pick up some ingredients for lunch and dinner. I also picked up a gorgeous cauliflower that I’m making risotto with this week as well as the last of the season’s local blackberries – I can’t believe summer is really over!
The skies opened up once we got back, so we spent the rest of the rainy afternoon cozied up with some blankets and a vanilla scented candle while he did some work and I edited these pictures.
After a dinner of pork tenderloin Diane (here is the recipe – it was pretty good!) and falling asleep on the couch in the last 5 minutes of the Leafs game against Detroit, we were in bed by just after 10 pm.
Gosh, that makes me sound old. And my obsession with date squares just adds to my premature senior citizen status. I mean, before getting into blogging, I’d never met anyone under 70 who likes date squares. I love them though! Buttery, crumbly, gooey, and sweet – they’ve got all the components of a perfect dessert.
My version is a healthier twist on the classic dessert, based upon a date flax bar I had at Borough Market in England. These healthy oat and flax date squares are low in added sugar and fat, making them healthy enough to be an everyday snack. Plus they’re free of dairy, eggs, and nuts, so they’re a safe choice for allergies. But the real selling point is all the fibre in these guys! With oats, flax, and dates, there’s tons of the good stuff in these squares to help move things along – if you know what I mean.
… I really do make myself sound old, don’t I?
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup ground flax
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 4 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ + ⅛ tsp salt
- 1.5 cups pitted Medjool dates (about 15 dates)
- ¼ cup boiling water
- Before getting started, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 8x8" square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, combine the oats and flax, and process until the oats are slightly ground (don't grind them into a flour). Then add the melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla, and salt, and process until everything is combined. Remove mixture from the food processor into bowl, then take about ⅔ of the mixture press it down firmly into the baking pan to form the bottom crust. I spent at least 5 minutes making sure it was very firmly pressed down.
- Give your food processor a quick wipe if needed to remove any crumbs, then add the Medjool dates and boiling water. Process until it is a soft, sticky paste. You may need to add more or less water - you want it to be a consistency that you can spread on top of the crust, but isn't too liquidy. When it is a good consistency, carefully spread it on top of the oat and flax crust.
- Then take the remaining ⅓ of the crust mixture and sprinkle it evenly on top of the date layer, pressing it down lightly.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 25-30 minutes, then remove and let the pan cool on top of a rack before removing. Cut into 16 squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Looking for more healthier dessert recipes? You might like: