For those of you interested in grain-free goodies, do I have something for you! Not only is this treat gluten free, and grain free it is also raw, making it exceptionally easy to make and quite nutritious. This recipe is also great because it contains no added sugars (all sweetness comes from the dates) and a minimal amount of coconut oil to bind.
You’ll want to buy organic, virgin coconut oil as not only is it the best for you but it also tastes great. If you’ve ever tried the cheaper versions like myself, you’ll understand that you may as well eat shortening (and who wants that?). I add lemon or orange zest to my version and have included it here but if you’re not feeling the zest, just leave it out. Best of all about this recipe- aside from the time it takes to soak the nuts and dates (overnight is best) you can do it all in a food processor. Forget “finger cooking” this is “voila cooking”! Oh, and as a final note, don’t throw away the soaking water from your almonds and dates but put them in a smoothie!
Great date squares (Gluten-free, grain free, Vegan, Raw)
1 1/2 cups whole raw almonds, soaked in water for a few hours (skin on for more nutrition!)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for a few hours
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, gently melted
pinch of sea salt
2 cups medjool dates, pitted and soaked for a few hours (overnight works best)
1/2 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional)
1. Line an 8 by 8′ pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap (if you can get it to stick!).
2. CRUST: In a food processor, process the drained almonds with the coconut and pinch of salt until you have something that looks like bread crumbs. Add the drained, chopped, pitted dates, and pulse until well incorporated. With the blade running, add the melted coconut oil down the chute until the mixture starts to form more of a wet looking mass. Remove from the processor, measure out 1/2 of c up and set aside for later. Press the remaining mixture into your prepared baking pan.
3. Filling: Add the soaked 2 cups of dates and zest (if using) to your food processor. Run it until you have a thick, spreadable paste. You made need to add a few teaspoons of the date soaking water to help the paste along but be careful not to add too much. You will also likely need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times. The final date paste should be fairly thick. Spread this generously over your prepared crust and then sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of topping over the top. Put a piece of plastic over the top and press down gently to adhere the topping to the date filling.
4. Place the completed date squares in the fridge and allow to set for at least 2 hours but overnight is best. When it is set, lift the whole thing out of the pan and set on a cutting board. It is pretty rich so you’ll want to cut into small even squares. Then go and put the coffee or tea pot on! ! Enjoy!