These tangy little bites, with plump juicy raisins, were spawned from a fruitless, late-night kitchen rampage in search of something sweet. Actually, I now usually have at the opposite end of the day – for breakfast with dollops of Greek yogurt – but they can be enjoyed whenever and wherever as they are easily transportable for a healthy snack at work, for example.
These are quick and simple to make and you do not have to be exact on the amounts of ingredients. For example, I use between 500g and 600g of apples – depending on the size of the fruit – and sometimes I substitute some of the oats for ground almonds. In fact, you can use any nuts you like. I have suggested hazelnuts, but walnuts are nice as their bitterness complements the sweetness of the apples and dates. Leave them out altogether if you want to make it nut free and just use 25g of coconut oil rather than nut butter. Finally, I usually add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds for their health benefits.
You will need a 20×20 cm dish to bake these; or for grease-free convenience, a silicon tray.
Ingredients (makes 25 squares)
3 large or 4-5 medium apples – coarsely grated
80-100g Medjool dates (about 4-5) soaked in 100ml warm water
15g coconut oil
10g nut butter
2 tsp cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon/orange
150g porridge oats – gluten free or conventional
1-2 tbps chia seeds (optional)
Preheat oven 160 (fan)/180 conventional
- Blitz up the dates and their soaking water into a rough paste.
- Put into a small saucepan along with the coconut oil and nut butter and stir on a gentle heat until you have a smooth purée.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients and then press into a well-greased tin.
- Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until firm.