Vegan Gluten-Free Date Squares
Many of you already know that I’m currently studying naturopathic nutrition. It’s crazy the amount of things I’m learning and I’m gaining so much valuable information about food, nutrition and the power it has to change your life! It shows in the way my diet has changed since I started the course in 2014 and how it keeps changing the more I learn!
If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you’ll probably notice my recipes changing. I used to make a lot of high protein treats using whey protein and dairy products like yoghurt. Now, I’ve cut out all dairy and gluten from my diet and I’m focusing on incorporating the goodness of whole plant foods and turning them into tasty nutritious treats.
I’m also trying to use dates as much as possible in recipes to sweeten. Using the whole fruit with its naturally high fibre content means it won’t have the same effect on insulin and blood glucose levels. It also means you’ll benefit from the nutrients this delicious fruit has to offer!
At the same time as trying to use natural sweeteners, I’m consciously trying to lower the amount of saturated fat I add to my treats. Even though coconut oil is being hailed as a magic potion that can prevent things like Alzheimer’s, there’s actually little evidence to support its nutritional benefits and can still cause inflammation and contribute to heart disease. But when it comes to cooking, I still think it fares better when compared to other types of oil.
This is yet another recipe influenced by my Middle Eastern upbringing. Dates are a staple in Middle Eastern kitchens and is heavily used in desserts and for very good reasons, mainly becomes they taste so damn good! I’ve added in some cinnamon and cardamom because I think those 2 flavours complement dates so well and make them taste even more irresistible!
The main ingredients in these vegan gluten-free date squares is oats, dates, coconut oil and almond butter. You have the option of adding some sweetener like xylitol into the crumble part of the recipe although I feel the date centre is sweet enough, but the option is there if you have a super sweet tooth.
- 1.5 cups (220g) dates
- 1 cup (200ml) water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 cup (110g) oat flour (use gluten-free oats if you have a gluten allergy)
- 1 cup (90g) oats (use gluten-free oats if you have a gluten allergy)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) coconut oil
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) almond butter
- 2 tbsp granulated sweetener like Xylitol (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180*C (160*C fan assisted)/ 350*F
- First make the date filling - add the dates to a pan and start off by adding 1/2 a cup (100ml) of water. Cook on high until the water starts to boil then turn the heat to low. Start mashing the the dates using the back of a wooden spoon. Add more water as needed until you have a smooth, thick, but spreadable date paste. Leave to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oat flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and sweetener if using any.
- Place the oat mixture in a food processor along with the coconut oil and almond butter.
- Pulse until everything is well combined and you have a crumble like mixture.
- Transfer 2/3 of the oat mixture into an 8" cake tin lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture down firmly into an even layer.
- Spread the date mixture on top, then crumble the remaining 1/3 of the oat mixture on top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely, then slice.
- Nutritional information (estimated per serving)
- Calories: 140 kcal
- Protein: 2.8g
- Carbs: 19.7g
- Fat: 6.5g
- Fibre: 2.9g
If you liked this vegan gluten-free date squares recipe you may also like these Date Cookies
More healthy date recipes
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