Vanilla Oat Date Squares

Yield 9-16 servings

For the filling:

  • 8 large dried figs, topped and torn
  • 8 large, juicy Medjool dates, pitted
  • Zest and juice of 1 navel orange
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (pure is best here)

For the crust & crumble:

  • 4 cups large-flake rolled oats, divided
  • 1 cup whole unsalted raw or roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8-inch square metal or glass baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal.

2. For the filling: Add all filling ingredients, except vanilla extract, to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until fruit is plump. Transfer to a blender or food processor, along with vanilla and puree, until mostly smooth and sticky (like the texture of jam).

3. For the crust and crumble: Add 2 cups oats and almonds to a blender or food processor and blend until a fine flour forms. Add to a large bowl with agave/maple syrup and coconut oil and mix until fully combined. Mix in remaining 2 cups whole (unblended) oats, salt and cinnamon. Press half of mixture into prepared pan, evenly cover with prepared filling. Crumble over remaining crust and crumble mixture.

4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown on top and crisp on the bottom. Cool completely in pan. Slice into squares. Store airtight at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 1 week (or freeze for up to 2 months).

5. Enjoy!