The inspiration for these squares was a favourite of mine: matrimonial squares. Whenever I see them at a cafes I would love nothing more than to sink my teeth into one; but I know that they are made with sugar and flour and I would probably really enjoy it but would feel awful in return. I love the combination of dates and oats and decided to come up with a version that I could eat.
The result is a cross between banana bread and matrimonial squares. I used a banana to sweeten the crumb base but you could use another sweetener, such as palm sugar, to make them more traditional. These super yummy treats are refined sugar free, wheat free and gluten free. Make sure to look for oats that are not contaminated with gluten. Bob’s Red Mill carries gluten free oats as well as some other suppliers.
My 12 year old niece Baillie hates dates and she loved this dessert.
Banana Date Bars
- 2 cups dates, pitted
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Place the dates, orange juice and orange zest in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat for 5 – 8 minutes until a thick paste forms. You may need to add a little water of more juice if it is too thick. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Set aside.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup melted butter, organic if possible
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 very ripe banana
- Mix together all the dry ingredients and add melted butter, maple syrup and banana. Mix together until completely combined.
- Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish. Spread half the crumble mixture into the baking dish and spread the date mixture over the surface. Top with the remainder of the crumble. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until browned on the top. Cool completely before cutting these into squares…. if you can wait that long.