These soft and chewy vegan date-oat squares are like a cross between a shortbread and a fruit crumble. Dates are cooked down and flavored up with vanilla and musky balsamic vinegar, transforming them into a jammy spread that is sandwiched between layers of buttery crust made with flax eggs and coconut oil.
One bite and you are going to fall in love with the unique flavor and yummy texture. Wrap up these squares and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator (or freezer) to serve for dessert, but honestly, you could also eat them for breakfast or a snack anytime. This recipe makes about two dozen small squares.
Reprinted with permission from The Vegan ABCs Cookbook by Lisa Dawn Angerame, Page Street Publishing Co., © 2021. Photo credit: Alexandra Shytsman. Lisa Dawn Angerame’s The Vegan ABCs Cookbook is a compact and clever guide to the most beloved ingredients used in plant-based cooking.
Here are lots more delectable vegan date desserts
A bit about dates
Dried dates come in several varieties, and you’ll find them in natural foods stores or well-stocked supermarkets, in bulk or in containers.
There are several varieties of dates: Medjool dates are large, with a soft, wrinkled skin and an exceptionally sugary flavor. Deglet Noor dates are smaller with a smoother skin. There are more than a dozen other fairly common date varieties to explore.
There are others, but these three (especially the first two) are the ones most commonly found in Western markets. Though some may beg to differ, these dates may be used interchangeably in recipes.
Dates are a good source of minerals like iron, potassium, and magnesium. They contain moderate amounts of vitamins A, B, and C, and are fairly high in fiber. Find out lots more in our Guide to Dried Dates.
- 1 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon good balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup melted refined coconut oil
- Date filling: Add the dates and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a high simmer and cook until the dates have broken down and transformed into a thick jam, about 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the dates, as necessary. Take off the heat and stir in the coconut sugar, balsamic vinegar and vanilla.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8 x 8–inch (20.5 x 20.5–cm) brownie pan with parchment paper.
- Flax eggs: Whisk the ground flaxseeds and water together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside for 5minutes to thicken.
- Crust: Add the flour, oats, coconut sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix together. Add the flax eggs and coconut oil and mix to combine.
- Spoon about two-thirds of the crust mixture into the pan. Spread it out into an even layer, pressing it to the edges. Spread the date filling over the top in a thin layer. Crumble the remaining crust mixture over the date filling.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Lift by the parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.
If you’re just getting acquainted with all the delicious ways you can use aquafaba, dates, flaxseeds, jackfruit, kale, miso, nutritional yeast, umeboshi, and more, literally arranged from A to Z, you’ll find this an indispensable companion in the kitchen.
The Vegan ABCs Cookbook is available wherever books are sold
MORE ABOUT THE VEGAN ABCS COOKBOOK
The Vegan ABCs Cookbook: Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Using Exciting Ingredients – from Aquafaba to Zucchini by Lisa Dawn Angerame (June 1, 2021, Page Street Publishing, Co.) is a must-have guide for anyone who’s new to plant-based cooking.
There’s no need to rely on sad pasta dishes or boring salads to stick to your diet―Wait, That’s Vegan?! author Lisa Dawn Angerame guides you through 26 of the most important ingredients in vegan cooking so you can reach your full potential in the kitchen. You’ll start with aquafaba, beets and coconut milk and make your way to XO sauce, yogurt and zucchini with these simple yet flavorful recipes.
With this book, there’s no need to feel intimidated, as Lisa devotes each chapter to a different vegan staple, giving you the chance to familiarize yourself with each one. Never again puzzle over the difference between flaxseed and aquafaba as egg substitutes or between portobello and jackfruit as meat substitutes, because this book has you covered.
Whether you’re new to vegan cooking or looking to deepen your understanding of plant-based ingredients, this book is an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to make amazing and nutritious vegan meals.
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