Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Date Squares

Ah, classic date squares: how could I live without thee? Actually, compared to most other date squares, these are pretty healthy. Making them with orange juice cuts back on the sugar and makes it easier for your body to absorb the iron in the dates. They're not so much a delicious dessert as they are a prescription for avoiding anemia.
1 and 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 and 3/4 cup whole-wheat (or white with the goodness of whole wheat) flour
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar (or 3/4 cup brown sugar)
4 ml baking soda
1 cup melted butter
3 cups chopped pitted dates
1 and 1/2 cup orange juice

you'll also need:
medium saucepan
a large mixing bowl
an 11 x 7 baking dish

1. combine the orange juice and dates in the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, while stirring, until it has thickened. Once this has happened, cool the mixture to room temperature by putting the pot in the sink with cold water that comes partway up the sides of the pot.
2. combine the flour, oats, baking soda and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter until everything is moistened.
3. preheat the oven to 350 F. Remember, if you are baking in a glass dish, reduce the heat by 25 degrees F!!

4. place about half the oat mixture in the bottom of your baking dish and tamp it down with the back of your spoon. You want to make sure that the bottom is well and evenly covered with the mixture.
5. pour in the date filling, spreading it evenly over the bottom layer.
6. sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top of the date filling. Press it down gently with the back of a spoon.
7. bake the date squares for 30 minutes, or until they're lightly brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack. Once they're cooled, you can cut them and remove them from the pan. This recipe will make 18 moderate-sized squares.
8. eat your date squares and rejoice: because of the vitamin C, you're helping to stave off scurvy! If you want to strengthen your bones too, drop some ice cream on top.

I got this recipe from my mother. Yup, we're real health nuts in my family!

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