Prep time: 40 minutes Bake time: 45-50 minutes
If you've tried the blueberry oat + oat square (and liked it...) you might REALLY enjoy this one too.
When I first made the blueberry version, my imagination went wild with the variations this recipe could morph into. The oat mixture (used for the bottom layer & a light sprinkle on top) is sorta like a canvas in my mind, holding the frame for a beautiful piece of art, or in this case, a delicious filling that could be anything you want - blueberries, blackberries, apples, pears, rhubarb, OR dates.
If you try one of these recipes, whether that's the original blueberry or the lavish date, I recommend doubling the batch and either baking two versions at once or storing the second half in the freezer until you're ready for it.
As far as this recipe goes, it's pretty straightforward... but be sure to read all the way through to see my favorite ice cream recommendation that is stellar on the nutrition front and believe it or not, tastes incredible too.
C O N S I D E R A T I O N S
1. If gluten is a concern, ensure the oats you're buying are labeled as gluten-free.
2. For an added "wow" flavor, add 1 tsp of cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ginger to the oat mixture.
3. Feel free to use any alternative milk you have (or dairy if that's your preference), it doesn't have to be coconut.
4. If you don't have brown rice flour, play around with coconut, sorghum, or almond, but keep in mind these are a bit denser than brown rice flour. You may need an extra splash or two of liquid.
5. If you previously doubled the oat mixture and are using a batch from the freezer, you'll want to let it thaw to room temp for about an hour. Please DON'T try to speed up the process by heating it in the microwave or stovetop - the coconut oil will melt and you'll end up with a pile of pre-cooked mush.
6. Skip the 3rd and 4th steps if you previously doubled your batch of the oat mixture and are using it from the freezer.
I N G R E D I E N T S
1c brown rice flour
1c oat flour or 1c rolled oats blended
1/3c maple syrup
1/4c coconut sugar
100g (just under 1/2c) room-temp coconut oil
2-3 Tbsp coconut milk (if needed)
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2c rolled oats (reserve for later)
1 1/2 c dates
1 c hot water
1/2 c coconut cream
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
S T E P S
Measure out 1 1/2 c of dates, place in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil, measure 1 cup of hot water and pour on top of the dates to soak. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375F and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
Mix both flours, sea salt, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl (if you don't have oat flour, blend 1c of rolled oats in a high-speed blender or food processor).
Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and mix. Next, steadily add the room-temp coconut oil to the mixture, a few Tbsp's at a time until all of it is well incorporated. The mixture should be crumbly but still hold its shape when pressed together, if it doesn't, add the coconut milk until it holds together.
Place about 3 quarters of the dough in the pan and firmly press down. Place the pan in the fridge for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.
Add the 1/2c rolled oats to the remaining mixture and set aside for the final layer.
While the bottom layer is baking, prepare the date filling. Place the dates and the water they've been soaking in, into a blender. Add the coconut cream, vanilla, sea salt and blend on high. It may take a few minutes to completely blend the dates, be patient with it.
After the 15 minutes have gone by, remove the bottom layer from the oven and spread an even layer of date filling on top. Finish by topping it off with the remaining oat mixture you had set aside.
Pop it back in the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from heat and let it cool completely before slicing. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days
As I said in the blueberry recipe: consider adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you serve it warm (may I recommend Cosmic Bliss *NOTE - they have a grass-fed dairy version too)