Besides being absolutely delicious, dates bring a lot of health benefits to the table as well. They’re packed with fiber and B-vitamins, and are often seen as one of the best dietary sources of potassium there is. And when you add dates to these flourless bars? They’re all that in an ooey, gooey filling that’s completely irresistible when combined with a soft-baked crust.
- Yield: 16 squares
- 1 cup (80 g) rolled oats (quick or old-fashioned)
- 1 cup (128 g) almond flour
- ½ cup (118 ml) unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp (25 g) coconut palm sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups (227 g) pitted dates
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice (roughly 1 lemon)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C) and prepare an 8 x 8-inch (20.3 x 20.3-cm) baking pan by lining it with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides to allow for easy removal. Set aside.
- Add the oats and almond flour to a high-speed blender or food processor, and process on high for about 10 seconds or until the oats have broken down into the consistency of a fine flour. Add the remaining crust ingredients and continue processing for about 20–30 seconds until a sticky dough begins to form. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides of your blender/processor as necessary.
- Transfer the dough to a medium-sized bowl, divide it in half and press half into your prepared baking pan, using a greased spatula to spread it out evenly. Set aside.
- To make the filling, add all the ingredients to the now empty blender/processor, and process on high until the dates have broken down into a sticky paste. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and add a splash of water if the mixture is being stubborn.
- Transfer the date filling to the baking pan, and use a greased spatula to spread it over the dough layer. Top with the remaining dough by breaking it up into about 6 or 7 chunks, distributing them over the top of the filling, and using your spatula to spread them out.
- Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the center is set and the bars begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Use a sharp knife to cut them into individual bars and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.