Valentines Day is just around the corner-- and it's always fun to make a little something sweet for your sweeties, whether it's your kiddos or husband (or just you! You deserve some sweets too, friend!). Did you know I ate date bars for YEARS before I even knew what a date LOOKED like? I discovered dates back in my vegetarian days and I love how sweet and creamy they are-- like nature's candy, my friend Jen says. I use dates for all sorts of purposes-- sweetening smoothies and nut milk (but let me tell you I was OVER date smoothies for a while after pregnancy!), and energy balls. But this is the first time I've tried recreating date squares-- and, well, you're reading this now, so I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!
Dates are also nutrition powerhouses- packed with minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium) and fiber-- we could all use more fiber, in our lives! #guthealth But don't let that be the reason you enjoy them-- enjoy them because they're GOOD!
Sweet, crumbly, just a little crunchy, and SUPER easy to make (believe me when I tell you, when it bake- it NEEDS to be easy!). Enjoy!!
p.s. They happen to be gluten-free and egg-free if that's something you need!
Healthy Mama [on a] Date Squares
Makes 1 8x8" pan
1 1/2 cup almond flour 3/4 cup rolled oats (divided) 1/2 cup soft coconut oil (2 T more if dry) 2/3 cup coconut sugar (brown sugar works, too) 1/2 tsp cinnamon pinch sea salt
Date paste: 1 1/2 cup pitted + chopped medjool dates 1/2 cup water 2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
1. To make date paste: Combine dates, water and honey/maple syrup (optional) in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for ~10-12 minutes until dates are soft and most water is absorbed. Mix well into a paste. Let cool slightly.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8" glass pan with coconut oil or butter.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, coconut oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon and sea sea salt. Mix well until mixture begins to come together (you don't want it too wet).
4. Divide in half and press half to form crust on greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
5. Mix remaining 1/4 cup oats with the rest of the crumble mixture. Once cooled, gently spread date paste over top of crust. Crumble remaining crumble mixture on top (press down lightly).
6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing. Store in the fridge (will firm up in the fridge).
What is your favorite valentines treat?? Share in the comments or over on instagram!