Date and Oatmeal Crumble bars is my contribution to "A Fruit A Month", which is the brainchild of Maheswari of "Beyond the Usual"blog. Chandrika of "akshayapatra" is guest hosting this month for AFAM and her fruit of choice is "Dates". Thanks for hosting Chandrika!:)
"Dates, as fruits have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 6000 BC.Dates have a high tannin content and are used medicinally in poder form as well and as astringent for intestinal problems" More information of Dates is here.
Basic Date bars recipe is everywhere in the Internet World. Most recipes I liked but none sounded good enough for me, so I thought of combining most ingredients and make one of my own with some changes. I found that I needed little more Oatmeal to make the crust than suggested in many recipes and I added orange juice for flavor and a tsp of Cornstarch to the filling to make it thicker so they don't slide off the Oat crust, came out delicious.I made a small batch. Double and triple the recipe if you want more bars. It's hearty dessert with lot less sugar and more of natural sweetness from the Dates. Enjoy!:)
Date and Oats crumble bars:
This is how I made Date bars:
Make filling first: Mix 1 cup chopped Dates,1 tbsp Orange juice, 1/2 tbsp Butter, 1 tsp Cornstarch, 1/4 cup water, microwave for 1-2 mins. Take it out and mash with a fork until smooth, let it cool.
Now make the crust: Mix 1/2 cup quick cooking Oats, 1/3 cup+1 1/2 tbsp plain flour, 1/3 cup packed Brown sugar, 1 tsp Cinnamin powder, 1/8 tsp salt,1/3 cup melted butter well. Divide into two portions.
To bake these:
Preheat the Oven at 350F.
Spray a small 7x5 baking pan with no-stick oil or line with parchment paper on the bottom. Press in half the Oat mix on the bottom of the pan, add cooled Date mix and smoothen on top evenly. Finally, add the rest of Oat mix to cover the Date mix, do not press too hard. Put in the oven to bake for 30-35 mins or until the top gets slightly golden.
Let it cool for 10 mins on the cooling rack, release the sides with a flat spatula, cut into 6 big bars. When completely cooled, gently lift one bar and rest will be easy to take out.
Happy healthy eating!!:))