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!
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.
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!
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.
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 (Gluten Free and Vegan)
Gluten free, vegan, whole grain; Free of: dairy, eggs
- ½ cup dried golden berries
- 1 cup water
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons maple syrup depending on how sweet or tart you want the bars
- 8 ounces dates chopped (about 1 ½ cups chopped)
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free quick oats
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup erythritol or baking Stevia
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Margarine* melted
- 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
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist