Coconut Date Bars


DSC_0441This is the third recipe in our brekkie series and, like our recipes for Bircher Muesli and Breakfast Smoothies, it’s another make ahead, grab and go in the morning option.  

DSC_0406Whilst these bars may not be as quick to put together as the last 2 recipes, don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients below.  Once you’ve got everything together it’s actually pretty quick and the result is definitely worth it!

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Whilst I’ve labelled these bars by including them in our brekkie series, they definitely shouldn’t be restricted to breakfast time.  They make a fantastic snack at any time of time day.

DSC_0423They also make a great alternative to granola, crumbled over yoghurt…  as I found out when as usual I was too impatient, cut them whilst still warm, and end up with a crumby, messy, mound of deliciousness.

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So please learn from the mistakes I made whilst trialling of these: you DEFINITELY need to wait until they’re cold before slicing otherwise you will end up with a very nice batch of coconut date granola.  Not that that would be too much of a hardship of course…

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These bars are a little like the glamorous, tropical and more refined cousins of the sturdy flapjack.  One of my favourite bits about them is the flavour of lime that kicks in at the end, adding a wonderful freshness to counteract the sticky date and coconut topping.

DSC_0437They are definitely way more exciting than a piece of peanut butter toast so give them a go and look forward to your breakfast this week!

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This time last year:  Oops…we were offline for a while
This time 2 years ago:  Pork Souvlaki
This time 3 years ago:  Cinnamon Rice Pudding With Cherry Compote & Pistachios

Coconut Date Bars

Adapted From Bon Appetite Magazine March 2016
Makes 8 bars or 16 if you want small ones

12 Medjool dates, pits removed
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups almonds
1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable/sunflower also works)
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
4 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

To make:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc/160ºc fan/350ºf.  Lightly coat a 20x20cm/8x8in baking dish with butter then line with 2 sheets of overlapping baking parchment leaving an overhang on all sides.  (I don’t have a baking dish of this size so used a round 20cm dish and it worked fine too).
  2. Put the dates in a small saucepan with 1 cup water.  Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until there are only a few tablespoons water left in the bottom.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and 1 cup almonds until the almonds are very finely ground (about 1 minute).  Add the oil, butter, sugar, honey and 1 cup shredded coconut and pulse to combine.
  4. Transfer the coconut oat mixture to the baking dish and pack it evenly across the bottom – the more firmly you can pack it the better to prevent it crumbling when you cut it.
  5. Pulse the dates, lime zest and juice together in the food processor, scraping down the sides a couple of times until you have a smooth paste.  Spread this mixture on top of the coconut oat mixture leaving a centimetre border around the edge.
  6. Roughly chop the remaining 1/4 cup almonds and mix together with the 1/2 cups of shredded and flaked coconut.  Spread evenly over the date mixture, pressing in slightly.
  7. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the top is browned and edges are firm.  Allow to cool fully (put in the fridge if it’s hot outside) before slicing into 8 bars.
In advance:

The bars can be baked in advance and kept sealed at room temperature (or in the fridge if it’s hot) for up to a week.

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