This past weekend, I went to Toronto with Ahra and Deborah. We slept in a luxurious hotel, went sight-seeing, shopped, and ate an astonishing amount of food. As always, it was so nice to get away from campus for a couple of days and explore a new city.
I am going to admit that I caved and had sugar. A LOT of it. It was entirely too difficult to be surrounded by so many wonderful food options and not eat sugar. We indulged in frozen yogurt, Belgian waffles, crepes, bubble tea, Chinese pastries, and more.
At first, I felt extremely guilty, but I decided not to beat myself up about it. I know I am not perfect, so I am just going to move on and continue with my sugar fast for the remainder of Lent.
I think my body was shocked at the amount of sugar I consumed this weekend. I felt absolutely GROSS when we got home on Sunday night. I’ve been recovering from my sugar overload by packing my meals with whole grains, fruits, veggies, and protein.
But of course I can’t go long without something a little sweet. I was debating whether to make another batch of cocoa date cookies or oatmeal raisin walnut cookies, when I saw a recipe for no bake vegan date squares on Oh She Glows that featured two of my most favorite ingredients: oats and dates!
The original recipe called for coconut oil, which I think would have added a lovely subtle flavor, but unfortunately I didn’t have any, so I used unsalted butter instead (de-veganizing the recipe). Also, I threw some cinnamon into both the crust and filling because I’ve been loving it so much lately.
The bars were fantastic! The nutty crust paired with the sticky sweet date filling was delicious. I’m loving all of the sugar-free treats that I’ve been baking lately because they are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, and they are a great energy-boosting snack. So basically, I can have a guilt-free dessert any time of day!
No Bake Date Squares
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup whole almonds
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup pitted dates, packed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 cup pitted dates, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
1. Line a 8×4 inch pan with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, process almonds, oats, cinnamon, and salt until coarse flour forms. Add 1/4 cup dates and process until crumbly. Add butter and process until mixture is sticky. Set aside about 1/3 cup of the mixture and press the rest firmly and evenly into the prepared pan.
3. To make the filling, process 1 cup dates, cinnamon, and water in food processor until a paste forms, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl often. Scrape date paste onto prepared crust and spread evenly with a spatula.
4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup reserved crumb mixture on top of date paste and press down gently with fingers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, before cutting into squares. Store date squares in fridge or freezer.