Okay. Full disclosure. Up until about two weeks ago I’d never heard of an oat bar before. They’re just not a thing we do in Australia. Are they just an American thang? 💁🏽
Oats are a fairly new romance for me. We’ve known each other our whole lives but the relationship really started to blossom in the last few years! Oh the crunchy golden granola, thick luscious overnight oats, porridge topped with toasted coconut and homemade Nutella!! I’m so glad we found each other at last.
Alright. Silly. Enough of that business. Let’s talk these super easy, a little bit messy, you’re gonna have most if not all of this stuff in your pantry, gooey chocolate filled, crunchy topped and chewy bottomed oat bars. Phew, I need to take a breath….
And then shove a delicious chunk of oat bar in my mouth.
These are a great in between season treat. I cannot eat porridge in summer, it’s just not right. But these addictive oat bars are perfect on cooler spring or autumn days! They’re vegan, free from refined sugars and can be gluten free if you make sure your ingredients are gluten free. How great is that??
Try them as a brekkie snack on your way to work or pack them for the kidlets school lunches. They’ll bring a big ol’ smile to anyone’s face, I promise.
Recipe adapted from Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen.
Chocolate Date & Pecan Oat Bars
You won't be able to stop at one, and that's okay because these oat bars are vegan, gluten free and free from refined sugars! With a chewy oat layer, smothered in a gooey chocolate date mixture and topped with crunchy oaty goodness - they really are the perfect breakfast, snack or after dinner treat.
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour* see notes
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup, heaped chopped pecan pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda gluten free
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup rice malt syrup
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 12 Medjool dates soaked
- 1/3 cup water from soaked dates
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa or carob
- 1 tbsp rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- pinch salt
Preheat oven to 180 degrees (375 Fahrenheit) and line a square pan with baking paper or grease well with coconut oil. I used a 22.8cm brownie pan, which is about 9 x 9 inches.
Measure out your coconut oil and place it in the freezer to harden while you make your oat mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour*, rolled oats, pecans, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Take the oil from the freezer and chop it up into little pea sized bits. Keep in mind it will be smooshed through the oat mixture so it just needs to be small pieces. Add it to the oat mixture. Then add in the rice malt syrup and tahini. You're probably going to have to use your hands to combine it all, unless you're very patient with a wooden spoon.
Once all the oat mixture is well combined and all oats are covered, take about 2/3 of the mixture and press it into your baking tray. I use a measuring cup or glass to flatten it and make sure it is pressed down very firmly, this is what will keep it together once cooked. Then place your baking tray in the freezer to re-harden the oil, and set aside the remainder oat mixture for later.
To make the date mixture we need really soft dates, so place your pitted dates in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Let them sit for a few minutes.
While the dates are soaking, measure out the rest of your chocolate mixture. In your blender or tall jar*, add the cacao powder, sweetener and salt. Then take the dates from the water, reserving some for this mixture. Add the dates and the reserved water and blender until you have a smooth paste.
Take your baking tray from the freezer, spoon the date mixture onto the oat base and spread it around, keeping a 1 cm border. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top and very gently press it down so that it sticks to the date mixture. I often add a few whole pecans on top as well, for extra crunch.
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes to see that it's not over browning. Take it out then the top is a deep golden colour. Let cool in the tray, then take out and slice.
Enjoy with a cup of tea or a big glass of cold almond milk!
- You can easily make oat flour in your food processor or a coffee grinder. It's just grinding oats until the resemble a fine flour - it does not have to be particularly fine for this recipe though!
- I use an immersion blender to make the date paste but you could also add all the ingredients to a blender or even a food processor if you have a high power one.
- Re-use your baking paper by cutting it into strip and wrapping your oat bars to make them easily portable for school/work lunches.