This is a great square when you want a little something, but don't want the sugar. Dates are full of vitamins, minerals and a fantastic source of fibre.
Servings: 2 dozen large or 4 doz small bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
525g or 3 cups pitted dates roughly chopped
470ml or 2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean powder or 2 tsp vanilla extract
Base and Topping
300 grams or 3 cups gluten free oats
150 grams or 1-1/2 cups almond meal
57 grams or 1/3 cup ground golden flax meal
3-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
342 grams or 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter diced or coconut palm shortening for dairy free
Pre-heat oven to 350F
Lightly grease 9X13 baking dish and if you like, for easier lifting and slicing you can line with parchment paper.
In a saucepan combine all of the filling ingredients on medium heat, cook smashing the dates until the filling is the consistency of thick jam. A potato masher works great for the smashing.
While filling is cooking, place oats in a food processor and pulse until it turns into a coarse flour. Add almond meal, salt, cinnamon and flax and pulse again until fully incorporated.
Add the butter and pulse a few times until butter is the size of small peas, then add maple syrup and pulse a few times until it is mixed in and a nice crumble texture.
In a greased 9 x 13 pan, firmly press 2/3 of the topping into the pan. Spread the warm filling over evenly, then sprinkle the remaining topping over the filling.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Best to let cool completely, and place in the fridge for an hour (if you can wait that long :) before slicing.
Covered on the counter in an airtight container for 3-4 days, or 7-10 in the fridge. Freeze beautifully.