Today’s pastry recipe is one for a buttery, crumbly, ooey-gooey and naturally sweet date square in which the cardamom and orange make its flavour pop (I wish I could also say “snap” and “crackle”). Date squares are a childhood favourite, and this is truly the type of recipe a grandma would bake, so I plan on keeping this recipe until I can serve it up to my grandkids (#intensefamilyplanning). These are basically the baked-goods’ equivalent of a hug.
Dates are fabulous, but you already knew that. Be they dry or fresh, dates are a good source of dietary fiber. In fact, dates are made up of 57% insoluble fiber and 43% soluble fiber. How do these types of fiber differ? Insoluble fiber helps keep you happily regular and prevent constipation. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, meaning it can help prevent against chronic disease.
Dates do have a high carbohydrate content, which means they provide high energy, making them great for periods of intense or prolonged physical activity (think skiing, cross-country skiing, bike rides, hiking, etc.). Though dates are not brightly coloured, they still have high antioxidant content, namely carotenoids and phenolic compounds, which protect your body from the sun, pollution and other damaging environmental agents. Basically put, we heart dates. 🙂
On that note, here is a recipe in which dates occupy center stage. Any and all feedback is welcome. 🙂
Fancy Shmancy Date Squares
For the filling:
- 1 orange, juiced
- 2 cups pitted Medjool dates
- 3 tbsp. boiling water
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
For the crisp:
- 3 cups oats
- 1/2 cup ground flax
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the filling. Set aside.
- Still in your food processor, combine all ingredients for making the crisp.
- Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with coconut oil (or any other oil).
- Spread half the crisp mixture into the square pan and press down firmly.
- Add the Medjool date filling.
- Top with the remaining half of the oat mixture.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until crisp starts to turn golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 4 hours.
- Cut into 9 or 16 squares.
- Share the fanciness with your loved ones.
Oh dear, these taste really neat…..(and I’m already talking like a grandma 🙂 )
Now off I go to play Bocce ball. Tee hee.