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vegan, adventurer, lover of chai lattes and winona ryder
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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Food: Vegan Date Squares

As this late fall weather becomes steadily unfriendlier, I find myself spending much more time indoors, swaddled in my Dad's old sweaters and thick socks. I make oatmeal with whole rolled oats, relishing the warmth off a bubbling pot of cinnamon scented breakfast. There's a meditative aspect to taking time for yourself in the morning, to waking up slowly and carefully. To chilly extremities and fog rising over your backyard garden; over the rivers and trees. This is the time of year I love, not too hot, not too cold. Crisp. Clean. A time for fresh starts and fresh faces. New Years Eve has never held the same significance to me as these cool few days between fall and winter, this seasonal shift. Change is, quite literally, in the air. For once, I welcome it.

Photo by M. Kelly

These, friends, are not your classic vegan date square. They don't have those wacky chunks of orange rind floating around in there, nor do they call for half a jar of coconut oil (gosh dang expensive, pals), or agonizing hours cutting solid fats into oats. Well, maybe that's an overstatement, but when if you're anything like us, if you want a date square (or food in general), you wanted it five minutes ago. Whatever the weather may be in your corner of the world, I hope you give these a go.

Photo by M.Kelly



1 cup medjool dates
Zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


2.5 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon coconut oil
pinch of salt

Crumble Topping:

1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup walnuts (or nut/see of your choice)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toss 2 cups worth of oats into your food processor and blend until powdery. Then add applesauce, vanilla, maple syrup, and salt. Pulse until combined.
3. Remove from motor base, take out blade, and stir in remaining 1/2 cup oats to blended mixture. The dough should be pretty firm.
4. Place the dough into a greased brownie pan (mine was 8"x8") and press firmly down. Using slightly damp fingers works well here. You want it to be as compact as possible, so as to minimize crumbly bases (ugh).
5. Now, without bothering to clean your processor, pulse all filling ingredients together until a chunky paste forms. If dates ball up into a giant clump, add a tablespoon or two of warm water, until they become more of a malleable paste. Spread this paste over your base with a spatula, as evenly as possible.
6. Then, again don't even clean it, dump your crumble topping ingredients into your processor. Pulse into they've broken down into pinky-fingernail size ish chunks, though some variety is always great.
7. Scatter over top of your date paste! If there are any leftover topping bits left (I had a small handful), make a yourself a lil cookie! Shape it into a wee ball, flatten slightly with your palm, and bake for 10 - 12 mins.
8. Now slide your completed crumble bars into the oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until top is lightly golden and aromatic.
9. Enjoy!

**This recipe was inspired by Sarah Britton at! Her site is absolutely lovely. Check it out!**

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