I have a lovely oat-based gluten free date square recipe for you today. My sister asked me to come up with these, and a friend seconded it, so here we are. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a date square, but they explained what it is, and it sounded pretty dang good.
Dates and oats? Two of my favourite things. Date squares are pretty old-fashioned, but I promise this version isn’t what you’d see at bingo (is that a thing all old people do? My Omi loves bingo). They’re also a Canadian specialty. On the west coast people call them matrimonial squares.
As always, this recipe is free of refined sugar. The middle layer is made of dates, so a lot of sugar isn’t necessary in the bottom and top bits. It’s not super sweet, so you can have it as dessert, but also as a snack or part of breakfast. I used oat flour because it’s cheap, easy, and high in protein.
If you’re celiac remember to get certified gluten-free oats. They’re naturally free of gluten, but often come into contact with wheat during production. I’ve also used sliced almonds to add some crunch. They can be left out if you can’t have nuts, and sub sunflower seed butter for almond.
I was hesitant about this recipe working out but these bars excellent. I stuck them in the freezer to make them easier to photograph, but they’re way better frozen. The date layer stays chewy and caramel-like without being too soft to eat, and the base/crumble is crunchy awesomeness.
More Date Recipes
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Almond Oat Date Squares
- 1 cup oat flour*
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted
- 2 tablespoons applesauce
- ~14 dates seeded*
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line an 20×15 cm (8×6 inch) baking pan with parchment paper. I was out and greasing it really well worked in a pinch, but they were definitely harder to remove.
- In a large bowl, mix the oat flour, rolled oats, flax, coconut sugar, almonds, cinnamon, and salt. Add the coconut oil and applesauce. It’ll seem like it won’t hold together at first, but the flax will work its magic and make everything stick.
- In a food processor, blend the dates until a sticky past forms. Do not throw everything in at once and turn it on – there will be an almond milk explosion. Once you get a paste, add the almond milk, vanilla, and almond butter. Blend until it’s a spreadable consistency.
- Take a cup of the oat mixture out and reserve it. Press the remainder into your prepared baking dish, using damp hands to make sure it’s firm. Spread the dates over top, then crumble the reserved oat mixture on that.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20-25 minutes or until it starts to turn golden. Cool completely before cutting. Store in the freezer, and eat it cold.