Wouldn’t it be great if recipes for high-energy, healthy snacks required no cooking or baking? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: date squares are made with neither a stove nor an oven. The lesson I’ve learned after watching this video demo: Never underestimate the power of a food processor.
And what’s more, these squares (triangles or stars…really, whatever your cutting preference) are the product of just two ingredients: dates and oats, both of which can readily be found in organic form.
Dates are probably the sweetest staple food of the Middle East, but that doesn’t mean they’re not healthy. Dates are rich in such minerals as iron, potassium, calcium, and manganese. They’re also an excellent source of dietary fiber and antioxidants. Suffice it to say that, combined with oats, they’re a great choice for breakfast, snack time, or pre-exercise routines, especially for endurance sports like running and biking.
Date trees are also under threat, as a newly introduced beetle from Far East Asia, the red palm weevil is decimating date trees around the Middle East.
So eating dates may be able to support the industry which may need to fight to survive.Making these date squares is a no-fuss ordeal.
Here’s how to to make no bake date squares:
- Medjool dates are the best kind, in my opinion. Take the pits out of the dates, if the dates aren’t already pitted.
- Soak the dates overnight.
- The next day, transfer the dates into your food processor, along with the water they were soaking in.
- Turn the food processor on, and add raw oats through the chute. Add as many as desired, until they seem blended with the dates in a thick consistency. A couple fistfuls of oats for one cup of dates is a loosely suggested proportion.
- Turn off the food processor, and use a spatula to empty the contents into a baking dish or pan. Smooth over the top. You may want to add some more oats here for aesthetic value. Refrigerate.
- This part will be difficult: Wait several hours to let your creation harden. (But of course, if you’re like me, you will have tried some of the “batter” right out of the food processor, before refrigerating!) Then cut the sheet to your liking.
No offense to Chewy bars, but these date-oat bars are hard to beat for the health factor, convenience, and “homemade” label. The pseudo-cooking or -baking process is short, and so sweet.
Image of no bake date squares from Shutterstock