I love recipes that take me back to my childhood. This is even more important to me now that my mother has passed away. Anything that reminds me of her is a precious recipe. These date bars are a recipe that she often made when I was a little girl.
Benefits of using dates
Dates are the fruit of the palm tree and they are packed with nutrients and are a great source of natural sugar. Most dates that we find in grocery stores are dried dates, which concentrates their sugar.
Because of their natural sugar, dates are relatively high in calories. Most of the calories in dates come from carbohydrates. A 3 1/2 ounce serving of dates provides 277 calories and 75 carbs. But they also have lots of potassium, magnesium, copper and vitamin B-6.
Dates are also high in antioxidants, so they make a great choice to use in sweet recipes. I often use them to make energy bites.
This date bars recipe is delicious and rich.
When I was young, I used to love watching my mother making healthy desserts with maple syrup from scratch. It gave me so much help when I started to cook for myself and I make many of her recipes to this day.
This one is a favorite. The date bars my mother made were gooey and delicious with the rich taste of datesand brown sugar.
This is my take on the recipe. They are sweetened with pure maple syrup for a nice change but still take me back to those dates eating her date bars around the kitchen table.
Recipes using maple syrup are healthier than those using refined sugars. This makes it a great alternative sweetener for those wanting a sweet taste but concerned about their overall health.
Maple syrup also gives a number of healthy nutrients to your recipe. I use it often in place of granulated sugar.
Making date bars
The bars are easy to make and my whole family loves them. The date mixture is made in a sauce pan by combining dates, water and maple syrup. They are brought to a boil and then cooked until most of the liquid has absorbed.
This gives a nice rich mixture that looks somewhat like jam.
The top and bottom crust of the date bars is made from flour, oats, baking soda and salt. It is sweetened with some brown sugar and held together with butter.
Press a couple of cups of the oat mixture on the bottom of your pan, add the date mixture and then top with the rest of the oat mix and bake.
Tasting the date bars.
These hearty bars have a nice crunch from the oat mixture and a decadent and rich date filling. They make a wonderful switch from the normal chocolate bars and slices that are so prevalent. They are my idea of comfort food!
Nutritional information for these date bars
This date bar recipe makes 20 slices. Each bar has 211 calories and 1.6 grams of saturated fat. Most oats are gluten free, but be sure to check the package for information.
For more healthy desserts and main dishes, please visit my Pinterest Healthy cooking board.
Are you fond of fruit and dried fruit desserts or do you prefer normal sweet treats? Please leave your comments below.
Pin this date bars recipe for later
Would you like a reminder of this recipe for maple date bars? Just pin this image to one of your Pinterest healthy cooking boards.
- 1-3/4 cups finely chopped pitted dates
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- Cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Combine the dates, water and maple syrup in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then cook, stirring frequently, until most liquid is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Mixture should look like jam. Remove from heat and stir in zest. Cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Beat the brown sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture (it will be crumbly).
- Coat an 11- x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Press 2 cups of mixture into bottom of pan. Spread date mixture over flour mixture. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, then cut into 20 bars.
Serving Size:1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 5.0gSaturated Fat: 3.0gUnsaturated Fat: 1.6gCholesterol: 12.4mgSodium: 81.3mgCarbohydrates: 45.9gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 33gProtein: 1.9g