No bake vegan almond date bars

Vegan raw date nut and oatmeal bars

My kids have a love affair with oatmeal, they would happily eat anything with the word oatmeal in it.  Refrigerator oatmeal, granola, cookies, you name it. When it was time to choose my secret recipe club assignment, I went through the Saturday evening pot’s archives.I bookmarked their Berry Smoothies with Hidden Greens,  and their Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Balsamic Vinegar recipe among many others. Then I came across this recipe for no bake fruit crumble bars and I instantly knew that this was the one! Before I can get to the recipe let me tell you a little about my assigned blog. The Saturday evening pot is run by the Chef, who graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts and has always loved cooking.His family, The Lucky Wife and The Well-Fed Kids, who get to be the taste-testers of his new creations .They share their food adventures and recipes through their blog Raw vegan date almond bars This particular recipe was made by the Lucky wife. I loved it because it was quick, easy,nutritious, lunch box friendly and of course it had oatmeal in it. I adapted the recipe a little using dates as  a filling instead of jam, I also added a few spices to jazz things up a bit. I used dates because I wanted to try these bars in their purest form, raw, vegan and with out any added sugar. Why you may ask? Well until recently a recipe described as raw, vegan and without sugar was one I would not even consider. It must be bland and tasteless I always told myself but the more I read about the health benefits of raw and vegan food, the more I am tempted to give recipes like this one a try. So I ventured on,and I am happy to report that after trying these bars, the result blew me away. The crust had a wonderful texture with the earthy oats, the nutty almonds , the hint of coconut and slight sweetness provided by the dates. The filling added a spicy sweet note without making these bars overly sweet. The best part is that the kids loved them so much that they demanded them for school and I was more than happy to oblige. My next project is to try the crust as a base for my healthy cheese cake recipe.I will let you know how the experiment turns out!   Date oatmeal bars

No bake almond date bars

Crust:

  • 1.5 cups whole raw almonds (see notes)
  • 1.5 cups regular oats (for Gluten-free, use GF oats)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 16 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Date filling:

  • 200 grams date puree or ajweh (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

Directions: Line a  pan  with two pieces of parchment paper going opposite ways.

In a food processor, process the almond, salt, and oats until a fine crumble forms. (If you like your crust to have more texture you can process the mix until it is a coarse crumble)

Now add in the dates and process until crumbly again.

Melt the coconut oil and add to the mixture and process until sticky.

Remove from processor, set aside 3/4 cup of the mixture for later, and press the rest of the mixture very firmly and evenly into the pan.

Knead the date puree with the spices and oil then roll between two pieces of parchment or by hand and place it on top of the crust step 1 Sprinkle on the 3/4 cup of mixture you set aside and gently press down with fingers. step 2   Refrigerate in the fridge until firm for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Cut into squares and serve. Date oatmeal bars   Store in the fridge or freezer. Raw vegan date almond bars

 

Notes:

The amounts of dates: you need to use in the crust will depend on how soft and how large the dates you have are. If you have bog soft dates, 10-15 would be enough. If your dates are small and some what dry you will need 25- 30.  The key is to add dates until your crust mixture holds together when you take a hand full in your hand and squeeze it.

Alternatives to dates in the crust: If you are not fond of dates you can replace them with raisin, dried cherries or dried cranberries.

You can use other nuts to make these bars, walnuts or pecans would work beautifully.

The filling: Date puree or ajweh is basically pitted dates that are chopped and then kneaded until they almost become like a dough. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by chopping soft dates and then kneading them . If you find the process a little difficult you can place them in a pot with a tablespoon of butter and then gently heat while stirring for 5 minutes. The heat will help soften the dates.

You can also use jam  instead of dates. another option would be to use dried figs that you blend with a little water

 


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25 Comments

  1. kaledsmom

     /  June 20, 2014

    These were absolutely fantastic! Very addictive. They also seemed to get better over time. Thank you for sharing.
    FYI – Fortunately finding ingredients is easy for me because I live near Dearborn, MI – which has a high concentration of Arab-Americans/immigrants that operate these lovely markets and bakeries that carry wonderful ingredients and yummy goodies – me soooo lucky :) However, I did see the date puree or “baking dates” in the middle-eastern section of my local chain grocery store.

    Reply
  2. These look SO delicious I am going to attempt to make them this week (no almonds in the pantry at the moment or I would make them right now) Cheers for sharing :)

    Reply
  3. How many dates are used to make enough date puree?

    Reply
  4. Thanks for adding the notes! very helpful. I’m heading out for more dates to make my second batch. :)

    Reply
  5. I literally may run home and make these Sawsan. I think i have all of the ingredients just waiting for me. I LOVE the date filling idea and cardamom is my favorite spice so this is such a homerun with me AND healthy. Can you get ANY better?! Sorry I have been scarce my friend. Life has me in a rather tight grip at the moment, barely getting my day-to-day stuff done much less blogging. I always think about you and your amazing blog and I am so very happy I stopped by today. Take care.

    Reply
  6. Love the recipe and love the photos!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing these. They look fantastic.

    Reply
  8. Yum! I can’t wait to try these.

    Reply
  9. I’d love these in my lunch box please!

    Reply
  10. Delicious looking bars, full of healthy ingredients :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  11. Looks delicious! I will have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  12. Beautiful photos, as always, Sawsan. I am bookmarking these no-bake bars for the hot summer season.

    Reply
  13. These sounds fantastic! I love no-bake desserts and treats. These sounds like the perfect healthy sweet.

    Reply
  14. These sounds fantastic!! I love no-bake bars and these sound like a perfect healthy sweet treat.

    Reply
  15. I love that you had our blog and we had yours AND that you mentioned the recipe I chose in this post … I can’t wait to hear how this turns out as a crust for it! :) I love your adaptations and am always looking for ways to keep sugar to a minimum, so I think I will give these a try with my kids. I have never been a big fan of dates but maybe in these I’d like them.

    Reply
  16. I can’t wait to get home and make these! I actually have all the ingredients waiting for me in my pantry. Yummy! Gail

    Reply
  17. I LOVE dates! They are so versatile, and add such a great texture to sweets. These bars sound wonderful :D

    Reply
  18. aseleener

     /  April 7, 2014

    My kids would love this healthy snack. Great choice!

    Reply
  19. Beautiful and no bake too – these would be great for our road trips!

    Reply
  20. These bars sound delicious Sawsan, no wonder the kids love them. Great pick for SRC.

    Reply
  21. I loved date bars as a kid but I don’t think I’ve eaten one since I was really young. Your post brings back good memories. I can’t wait to make some.

    Reply
  22. hfeidi

     /  April 7, 2014

    Reblogged this on My Journey and commented:
    Recipe I like

    Reply
  23. Yum! I can’t wait to try this. :)

    Reply
  24. Healthy AND tasty – these sound like winners, indeed.

    Reply
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