Strawberry Ginger Date Bars (Gluten-Free)

Strawberry Ginger Date Bars

Make these bars for your Memorial Day picnics! They’re perfectly festive and freeze well so you can make them in advance.

I made these bars on a whim after bringing home 2 pints of strawberries from the farmer’s market. I had all the ingredients on hand (you may not have dates, but since I’m addicted, I usually have them in the fridge) so this recipe was easy to throw together. The strawberry ginger jam is tart and spicy perfection. Let me know in the comments if you make them!

Ingredients: 

Date puree
8 oz pitted chopped dates
1/3 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Strawberry ginger jam
About 2 cups (507 grams) sliced strawberries
1/4 cup honey
juice from half a lemon
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger

Oat crust/topping
2/12 cups quick-cooking gluten free oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup date puree (see recipe)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 toasted unsweetened coconut

 Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Toast the coconut on a sheet pan for about 5-6 minutes until golden brown and set aside.

Date puree 
  1. Chop and pit the dates then soak in a bowl of water for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Drain the water. Add the dates, almond milk, vanilla extract and salt to the food processor and mix until it’s a thick consistency. Set aside.

Strawberry ginger jam
  1. Whisk the cornstarch with water in a small bowl until combined and set aside.
  2. Combine strawberries, honey and lemon juice in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and stir often until most of the strawberries have dissolved, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped ginger about a minute before removing from heat and continue stirring until it’s syrup-like.
  3. Remove from heat and add cornstarch mixture. Set aside.

Oat crust/topping
 
  1. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, walnuts, almond butter, date puree, and beaten egg. Mix until all the oats are incorporated and you have a chunky batter.
  2. Dump enough oat mixture into the bottom of your 9” lined pan (reserving at least 1/3 for the topping) and press it into the bottom of the pan with your fingers.
  3. Add the toasted coconut to the bowl with the remaining portion of oat mixture and set aside.

Assembling the bars
  1. Spread the strawberry ginger jam on top of the oat crust evenly.
  2. Using your fingers or a small ice cream scooper, add the remaining oat mixture on top of the strawberry ginger jam. Push it down with the back of the scooper or a spatula so that it sticks well in the jam.
  3. Bake in the 325 degree oven for about 22-24 minutes.
  4. Let the bars cool completely before slicing. Cut into squares or triangles and top with vanilla ice cream or coconut ice cream.
  5. Bars stay fresh covered at room temp or in the refrigerator up to 5 days. The bars will freeze well, up to a month, if you plan on making them ahead.

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