During Christmastime, it seems like the flow of cookies, bars, cakes, and pies is endless. It can be really hard to stick to a clean-eating regimen with all this temptation around, so while I’m busy in the kitchen whipping up desserts right and left, I like to alter recipes any way I can to make them a tad bit healthier. In this case, as the name suggests, Refined-Sugar Free Date Bars are totally free from refined sugar! What do I use instead? Organic Joolie’s Medjool Dates for the filling and sucanat for the top and bottom. Does that mean you should eat the entire pan in one sitting? Well, I wouldn’t recommend it, but you can certainly feel better about enjoying them in moderation! 🙂
Refined-Sugar Free Date Bars are super simple! They just have two parts: the crumble for the top and bottom and the date paste in between. The crumble is pretty basic, consisting of oats, flour, sucanat, baking soda, salt, cinnamon (or any of your favorite baking spices), and butter. All you have to do is grind the oats in a food processor, whisk with the other dry ingredients, and and bind it together with cold butter.
The filling is even simpler: dates and water. After boiling the dates, they can be pulsed in a food processor until a nice paste forms. There’s no need to add any anything else since they’re naturally sweet and bursting with flavor.
If you’re looking for a unique treat to bring to your next Christmas gathering or are trying to keep desserts on the healthier side, then these bars are the perfect solution! Check out the links below for similar recipes you might enjoy!
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- Spiced Banana Rum Cookies
- Harvest Apple Cranberry Crisp
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Medjool Date Bars
- 3 cups Joolie's dates (pitted)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup sucanat
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup butter (chilled)
- In a medium saucepan, add the dates and water. Bring to a boil, before reducing heat and simmering for about five minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
- Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. In a large bowl, whisk the oats, flour, sucanat, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Cut the butter butter into small pieces and use a pastry blender to incorporate it into the dry ingredients. If your food processor is big enough, you can also mix it in there.
- Put ⅔ of the mixture into the baking dish and press it down until it evenly covers the bottom.
- Place the dates in the food processor and pulse until you achieve a smooth, thick paste. Spread it over layer of dough in the baking dish and smooth it out using an offset spatula.
- Crumble the rest of the dough on top. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool before slicing. Store in the refrigerator