Golden Berry Date Bars (Gluten Free and Vegan)

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Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that’s a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free! 

Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that's a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free!  - @thefitcookie #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

Hi, friends! It’s time for the January installment of Recipe Redux (and the second recipe this week)! This month’s theme is all about new ingredients for the new year:

January Theme: A New Ingredient for the New Year
Pick a new ingredient that you’ve been wanting to try… and cook or bake up a new recipe in the new year. Are you curious about nutritional yeast, fish sauce, matcha, teff – or maybe even ugli fruit? Show us how you’re cooking with something new (to you!) in 2016.

Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that's a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free!  - @thefitcookie #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

 

I am pretty adventurous with my eating and cooking, so I have tried a lot of foods that could be considered unusual: cricket bars, teff, fish sauce (a regular in our cooking), mesquite powder, sea urchin, duck eggs, and sacha inchi to name a few. No small fete since we live in a small town without a lot of variety as far as foods go.

There are still lots of great foods out there to try! Just watch an episode of Bizarre Foods and you will find out how limited the typical American diet really is. One thing I hadn’t yet tried or cooked with was golden berries, so I found some while we were traveling out of town and decided to bake something yummy with them!

Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that's a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free!  - @thefitcookie #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

 

I wanted to add these into oatmeal cookies, but golden berries are super tart (they still have good flavor!), so they were too tart to add to cookies. They taste a bit like candied lemon: sweet and tart! They are delicious and have great flavor, but are much too tart to just add to cookies unless they are chopped small. Instead of cookies I decided to mix these in with dates for these Golden Berry Date Bars.

I adapted this recipe from a Date and Cranberry Crumb Bar recipe my mom used to make. It was one of my favorites! I’m not entirely sure where my mom got the original recipe. Actually neither of us is sure where the original recipe came from, maybe from a cooking magazine or something years ago.

To make these a bit healthier, I reduced the amount of sugar (and didn’t use cane sugar), made these gluten-free, reduced the amount of margarine and used healthy margarine.

Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that's a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free!  - @thefitcookie #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

 

If you are on a low-FODMAP diet for IBS, skip the erythritol and use baking Stevia instead. Erythritol can cause intestinal problems and bloating if you have IBS. These bars aren’t low-FODMAP anyway because I included dates, but dates typically don’t bother my stomach quite as much as erythritol does. Make sure you replace the erythritol if you have a sensitive stomach or IBS!

Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that's a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free!  - @thefitcookie #glutenfree #vegan #recipe

 

Golden Berry Date Bars (Gluten Free and Vegan)

Golden Berry Date Bars are a delicious snack and dessert that's a bit lower in sugar than some traditional date bars, plus these are gluten free, vegan, and peanut free! 
Gluten free, vegan, whole grain; Free of: dairy, eggs
4.34 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free dessert bars, date bars, gluten free snack bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 208kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Chop the goldenberries and simmer them in the water and maple syrup until they soften a bit (about 5 minutes). If you're short on time, you could leave the goldenberries whole, but the tart flavors won't be distributed as evenly
  • Chop the dates and add them to the goldenberries and simmer some more until the mixture has thickened and the water is gone, about 5 more minutes. Set aside
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the quick oats, oat flour, sugar, erythritol (or baking Stevia), baking soda, and salt until well mixed
  • Melt the margarine in the microwave for about 30 seconds and add to the oat mixture and mix well
  • Take about 2/3 of the oat mixture and press it evenly into the bottom of a 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan
  • Spread the date mixture evenly over the pressed oat mixture
  • Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top of the dates and gently press it into the dates
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Allow bars to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving
  • Enjoy!

Notes

* Don't let the word "margarine" scare you: this product is healthy, non-hydrogenated, and soy-free!

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheFitCookie or tag #TheFitCookie!

14 thoughts on “Golden Berry Date Bars (Gluten Free and Vegan)”

  1. 4 stars
    Use What You Have! I bought golden berries to try something new and didn’t like them raw. So, I searched up this recipe and substituted what I had in my cupboard; ie: 1/2 coconut flour & 1/2 quinoa flour for the oat flour; shredded coconut for coconut sugar and finally applesauce for the last ingredient. It’s on the cooling rack right now, but it looks awful yummy!

    Reply
  2. 4 stars
    I had some golden berries about to go bad in my cupboard. Nobody liked them raw. So I searched for a recipe and found this. We don’t eat oils whatsoever (all oils are processed food!). So I subbed raw blended apple instead of the oil, which added the best flavor! Highly recommend! Keeper recipe for sure. I only have it 4 stars because I had to alter the recipe. Otherwise, it’s delish!

    Reply
  3. Don’t let the word “margarine” scare you: this product is healthy, non-hydrogenated, and soy-free!

    I must say that is a matter of opinion! That product is not healthy and is even worse for the planet, the palm oil is destroying the rain forests and the planet, canola oil is a very unbalanced oil and not healthy, the natural flavors in the product are just chemical additives, the pea protein is actually not a digestible product it has been altered so much it can actually interfere with digestion plus all protein isolates like that have went through a heavy chemical process and those chemicals usually remain in the end product, and the people who make this product are the same ones who make smart balance which is owned by another huge corporations doing all kinds of harm and selling nasty products. so if you care where your money goes and what you are supporting with your food choices, and what you are putting into your bodies, then this is not a healthy choice!

    I subbed in organic cold pressed coconut oil for the earth balance and of course i subbed out the erythritol (which is made by another huge chemical process and besides being an alcohol based sugar which does have benefits if you have blood sugar problems, it is very damaging to digestive system as well, our gut bacteria cannot properly break it down and most of it is absorbed directly into our small intestines and colon) with more organic coconut sugar!

    I know we all have different levels of tolerance for what we put into our bodies but knowledge is power and I just couldnt resist to leave this comment when I saw you say earth balance was a healthy choice.
    Enjoy the day! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Rain, thanks for your input. You make some valid points, all of which I am already aware of. With the abundance of food allergies, intolerances, dietary restrictions in our home, and that fact that we live in a small town, we are grateful when we find a healthier alternative to certain foods that my whole family can eat, regardless of whether it is up to someone else’s standards or not. Something bad can be said about nearly every other food: kale has oxalates, grains have phytic acid, coconut sugar is bad for people with IBS due to the amount of inulin, coconut nectar harvesting destroys forests…the list grows all the time. We pick our battles when it comes to food and we choose carefully what we decide to eat (this is no small process for me). I am all about choosing the healthiest options available to me, I’m not interested in being perfect.

      Also, the palm oil used in Earth Balance and the Spectrum palm oil I sometimes use in my baking is sustainably sourced

      Reply

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