Dates and cranberries are best friends. These squares make a super healthy breakfast or snack choice, with fuel that lasts and nutrients that are sure to brighten your family’s mood.
They contain minerals and molecules that your body loves. Dates have amazing amounts of potassium, which banishes the blues. Cranberries are full of nutrients that fight disease. Natural sugar in the dates plus fiber in the oats mean instant energy with benefits.
Best of all the taste is DElicious, especially with a dab of low-fat vanilla yogurt.
Cranberry date squares or cups
Makes one pan of 16 squares
or 24 individual baking cups
- 250 grams (2 cups) pitted dates
- 250 grams(2 cups) fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries, rinsed and with stems removed
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups oatmeal (NOT the instant kind)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons healthy oil (nut, avocado, sesame, canola or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- large saucepan with lid, large bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cups and spoons, 1 nine-inch square baking pan or 24 paper baking cups
- Put the dates in the saucepan. If using dried cranberries, add them too. Then add boiling water – just enough to cover their tops. Let them soften for 10-15 minutes. If using fresh cranberries, rinse and take off any stems, then add them after the dates have softened.
- Gently stir the fruit over medium heat until the dates and cranberries form a soft paste (about 5 minutes after the fruit comes to a boil). Be patient. First the fruit absorbs all the water, then the mixture bubbles up into a thick paste. Do not overcook as you want to see the different fruit in your squares. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- For the crust, measure the remaining ingredients and mix them together in the large bowl.
- If you’re making one pan of squares, sprinkle one cup of the crust mix evenly into the bottom. Top the crust with half the cooled fruit mix. Work slowly, as the mix is thick and gooey. Use the flat of a large spoon to flatten and spread the paste. Then finish off evenly with the rest of the crust.
- If you’re making individual servings in baking cups, fill the bottom of each cup with a scant tablespoon of crust. Top the crust with 1 heaping tablespoon fruit paste and press it evenly into the cup. Then sprinkle a teaspoon or two of crust over the paste.
- Let cool completely, then put in the fridge. Serve with your favorite low-fat yogurt (optional, but a tasty and protein-rich addition).