I have spent most of the summer jealously watching as palm trees across Dubai get heavier and heavier with great big boughs of delicious sweet sticky dates. The 4 date palms in our back yard were only planted just before the summer so, sadly, we can’t expect them to bear any fruit until next year and there is no date harvest for us.
I needn’t have worried though as it seems my friends and neighbours have more dates than they know what to do with and I was super excited to receive a bag of fresh home grown dates this morning! After sampling a few straight from the bag I knew I wanted to use them to make a healthy snack I could reach for as I am running out the door for nursery drop off or other errands instead of the biscuits that I’ve been turning to recently. A quick google search for date and oat bars brought me to this recipe from Deliciously Ella, a website that incidentally another friend had been recommendeding to me just the other day, so I thought I would give it a try.
I had planned to make the bars with Monkey since the recipe looked very easy and I thought he would enjoy measuring out the ingredients and watching the chia seeds turn to jelly. However he woke up from his nap with no interest in baking and was instead completely focussed on trains so there was no point forcing it and I made them myself. Kids eh!
I followed the recipe according to the instructions, the only difference being in relation to the dates. The recipe calls for 20 madjool dates (400g). I’m not sure what variety our local dates were but 20 dates only amounted to 100g so I continued pitting more dates until I got bored and thought there was a reasonable amount (which came to about 250g). The resulting bars were not overly sweet so the extra 150g of dates would have helped with that. However they are still yummy, hold together well and make a perfect nutrious snack for busy mums. I love the variety of texture you get in just one bite from the soft oats, the nutty crunchy sunflower seeds and the juicy raisins. These date and oat bars would make a great snack for breastfeeding mums as oats help increase milk supply. They would also be a good school snack or lunch box option for kids since they are nut free and filled with nutrious ingredients to keep the little ones full of energy till home time.
Next time I make them (and there will definitely be a next time!) I think I will add more dates but keep some of them chopped and mixed in rather than blend them all, so I can get sweet little bits of juicy date in each bite too. I’m also now off to have a good look around the Deliciously Ella website as it looks like there are lots more goodies over there!
Have you got any great date recipes you can share with me? leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!