A delicious treat made using better-for-you ingredients. These healthy date oat squares make the perfect lighter treat when you’re craving something sweet, but still want it to nourish your body.
Would you believe me if I said you can make a delicious date oat bar without any processed sugar or oil?
That’s exactly what I did to create these healthy date oat squares. I’m using whole dates only to sweeten and tahini as a healthier alternative to oil or butter.
This recipe is inspired by my favourite sweet treat growing up in Iraq called Kleicha – a date swirl cookie/pastry spiced with cinnamon and cardamom. They’re usually served during celebrations and the holy month of Ramadan. Since we’re already a week into Ramadan, I craved something nostalgic that would take me back to my childhood.
Dates are one of my favourite ingredients to use in healthier desserts. They add so much natural sweetness, meaning you don’t need to add as much sugar, or in the case of this recipe, you don’t need to add any additional sweetener at all!
I like using Medjool dates because they’re soft, gooey and have a lovely fudgy texture to them. I do appreciate they’re not the cheapest ingredient, so you can use other types of dates instead. You may need to add more water depending on how dry they are to help break them down into a spreadable paste.
These healthy date oat squares are so wholesome and easy to make. You definitely need to give them a go! They make a lovely lighter dessert when you’re craving something sweet, but nourish your body at the same time.
They’re a good source of fibre from the dates and oats. They also contain 5g of protein per serving!
What you need to make these healthy date oat squares:
Dates – Medjool dates or other soft varieties work best to create a smooth, spreadable paste. They add enough sweetness that you don’t need to use any extra sugar to make them taste good!
Oats – I’m using a mixture of oats and ground oats (aka oat flour). You can use gluten-free oats if you need the recipe to be gluten-free. I make my own oat flour by blending oats into a fine flour in a high-speed blender.
Tahini – This works as a replacement for butter/oil. Runny tahini works best as it makes it easier to mix everything together and help it hold. I like using Lebanese tahini, which you can get from ethnic/Asian shops or online.
Spices – I’m using cardamom and cinnamon – both work so well with dates! You can leave them out if you prefer, but I would highly recommend adding them.
These healthy date oat squares are:
- Easy to make
- Made using healthier ingredients
- Sweetened with dates
- A good source of fibre
- Made without refined sugars
- Only call for a few ingredients
- And so delicious!
Healthy Date Oat Squares
For the date layer
- 250g Medjool dates* or soft dates
- 4-6 tbsp water**
- Pinch of salt
For the oat layer
- 90g oat flour***
- 75g oats***
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 120ml tahini
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, oat flour, spices, baking powder and a small pinch of salt.
- Pour in the tahini and mix to combine. Set to the side while you prepare the date filling.
- Add the dates, water and a pinch of salt to a pan and cook over a low/medium heat. Mash with the back of a wooden spoon until you have a smooth date paste.
- Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into a lined loaf tin, then spread the date paste on top. (I used a 24cm x 15cm loaf tin).
- Crumble the remaining 1/3 of the oat mixture to create the oat topping.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, then allow to cool completely before slicing. You can slice them into bars or squares.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.