Date Square Cookies (Vegan, GF)

Its been almost 5 months since I lost my Dad to cancer and this week was a tough one for me. Grief is something I’ve been learning about as I get to know it intimately but this week it felt like the learning accelerated into more of a crash course. I’ve heard from many others that the 4-5 month mark can be pretty tough as the reality of the loss really starts to make itself know. I think of grief as a monster, sometimes it just hides politely under the bed and other times it launches in an unpredictable all out attack. Ups and downs are all a part of it and with the help of my amazing partner I have been able to ride the waves as they come.

I am telling you this because its real, and it’s a big part of my life right now. Having been through this last tough week I am excited to share something that makes me feel a whole lot brighter today.  About an hour ago a new inspired recipe just sort of downloaded itself into my head as I was getting up from a nap. I love when that happens and feel so grateful for these creative nudges.

This nudge was all about my Dad and his love of date squares. To say my Dad was a huge date square lover is quite an understatement. He loved dates and oats so much that when I was a kid I used to see him spreading date paste from a can on oatmeal cookies. The inspired recipe that just popped on in today is a bit date square and a bit cookie…introducing the Date Square Cookie!

When I get these nudges I write them down and create them right away and I am enjoying the delicious and truly satisfying end result as I type this. I know my Dad would have loved these cookies and my hope is that you will too. These are soft, moist cookies and the best part about them (other than the taste) is that they are egg free, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, made with whole foods and vegan as always. These cookies are high in fiber and they are easy to digest leaving you feeling energized instead of sluggish.

25 Big Fresh Dates, pitted (I used Medjool) – 10 for the date paste and 15 to be roughly chopped
1 cup Oat Flour*
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/3 cup Vegan Butter or Warmed Coconut Oil
1 Chia Egg**
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*Oat flour can be easily made by grinding rolled oats in a coffee grinder
** Chia egg = 1 Tablespoon chia seeds (whole or ground) & 3 Tablespoons water in a small bowl. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes.
Oats are gluten-free naturally but often they are contaminated by wheat during processed. To avoid this potential look for gluten-free oats which are now widely available.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Step One: Remove the pits from 10 dates and soak in hot water by completely covering with hot water and let sit for 10 minutes.
Step Two: Pour 1/4 cup of the soaking water and the dates into your blender or food processor, getting rid of the remaining soaking water. Blend until you have a date paste consistency.
Step Three: Make the Chia Eggs by adding 1 Tablespoon whole or ground chia seeds and 3 Tablespoons water into a small bowl. Stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Step Four: Roughly chop the remaining 15 dates (approx 1 cup).
Step Five: Create the oat flour by grinding rolled oats in your coffee grinder, blender or food processor until you have one cup of flour.
Step Six: Mix oat flour, oats, sea salt and cinnamon together in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a small bowl mix the vegan butter or oil, chia egg, and date paste. When smooth add the chopped dates and stir. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well. Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 12 big cookies


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