I haven’t made this recipe for a little over a year. And there is a very good reason…I can’t NOT eat these.
Yes, it’s true. Self-control practically goes out the window when I make these bars and a year ago I was making them WAY too often and enjoying WAY too many. One of the problems is that everyone else around me loved them too so I had no excuse NOT to make them for every and any social function. And even worse I never would give out the recipe because there was that tiny little recipe hoarder voice in me that said “these are good…like, really, really, REALLY good and one day you may went to sell them in your amazing vegan bakery so do not, I repeat DO NOT give away the recipe”.
I listened to that voice for a long time but over the past year I’ve realized that sharing is caring and who am I kidding, I’m not getting up at 3 in the morning, every morning, for the rest of my life to bake and sell anything!
So, I was really excited to make these again not only to eat but also for the blog! They are so stinking easy because you basically put everything in a high powered blender and blend! And of course they are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, no oil and no eggs! Does it get much better?! Don’t be put off by the chickpeas–they make these bars SO creamy and moist it’s unbelievable. And they cut way down on the fat and calories while adding a good amount of protein and fiber!
As of right now, I’m in recovery stage from Thanksgiving eatings. Is anybody else with me? Lots of fruits, veggies, lean meat and trying desperately to stay away from sweets…at least for the moment. But doesn’t it just seem like you are inundated from Thanksgiving to Christmas (ok, more like Easter) with candy and sweet stuff EVERYWHERE?! At the office, church, cookie exchanges, holiday parties, special holiday treats from local bakeries and ice cream shops…I mean, you’ve only got one month to stuff your face with all these limited time, seasonal treats!!!! No wonder people gain on average 10 pounds from November to December. Sheesh.
I’ve found the best defense is to have a plan of action! I think ahead about what I REALLY want to indulge in and what I can live without. It seems that we think since something is laying out on the kitchen table in the breakroom at work, we might as well eat it, even if it’s really not that good. Save your calories for the things that are AMAZING, not just o.k. I also like to keep fruits and healthy baked treats on hand at our house. That way we already have something to grab in case the sweet tooth kicks in or we want to go out and get that limited-time dark chocolate candy cane shake. Tomorrow morning I’m going to share a recipe for healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Toffee Bars but for now I thought I’d share some of my favorite healthy treats I’ve done over the past few months. These are all great options and totally delicious.
Things are busy this time of year. You need something to be easy. Like 5-minutes, DONE easy. What about some desserts that require ZERO baking time and hardly any effort? Maybe you need something for an office party or family get-together or ANOTHER ugly Christmas sweater party? I’ve got a few recipes that are perfect and done in no time, all in one pan. They will definitely impress! And you will be alot less stressed.
Last week I posted some healthy dessert recipes and I had my eye on a couple to try myself. I decided to start with the Sunny Oat-Date Bars. I just happened to have a HUGE bag of dates sitting on my counter that I had been meaning to make into a dessert but had never taken the time to find a recipe. These bars were the perfect thing to use them in!
I made some minor adjustments to the recipe and overall the results were delicious. They turned out a teensy bit crumbly so I’d recommend eating them with a fork. And after I simmered the dates and orange juice, I had no liquid left over to add to the dry ingredients, it just turned into a very thick mixture. So even though I didn’t have any of the orange/date liquid to add to the oats, it still worked fine. I absolutely LOVED this recipe and found I could hardly stay out of the bars. The flavors of orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and dates was ah-mazing. Pretty sure a healthy recipe becomes not so healthy when you eat 2-3 times more than you should! Oh well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, combine the dates, orange juice and orange rind. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occassionally, until dates are very soft and the mixture has turned very thick (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, mash until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, honey, maple syrup and vanilla. Add oil mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Press ⅔ of the oat mixture into the pan and spread the date mixture over the crust. Stir pecans into remaining oat mixture and drop by spoonfulls onto the date mixture and spread evenly.