New Millennium Snacking: Date Bars

This moist and tasty bar is a life saver when faced with dashing out the door without breakfast, and it’s solid enough to hold up well for snacking later in the day.  Much of the sweetness comes from dates plus a good hit of candied ginger, which in tandem with warm spices gives off a subtle kick of heat.Date Bars(480x640)

The quinoa works quite well here, not only for its health benefits, but also because it is light and does not become mushy as is the case with many grains.  While at it, I like to make a full batch of quinoa and use it for other purposes, instead of just the small batch required here; a recipe follows. Oats are also included, but neither butter nor oil is used.

Date Bars with Quinoa and Candied Ginger

Ingredients

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour, buckwheat, or other flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each allspice, and coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger or cloves
Pinch salt
1 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup dates, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup candied ginger root, minced
1 banana
1 large egg
1/4 cup yogurt
1/3 cup agave or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cooked white quinoa (see below)

1 Tbsp. Demerara sugar, for sprinkling on top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line and spray 8×8″ pan.
  2. In medium bowl combine flour through oat flakes.
  3. In a large bowl, smash the banana with a fork, mix in the egg, then stir in the yogurt, agave, extract and the quinoa.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet along with the dried fruit, and stir to combine.  Spread evenly into pan and sprinkle Demerara sugar over the top.  Bake approximately 35 minutes, until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top begins to brown.
  5. Let cool 10 minutes on rack, remove from pan, cool thoroughly, then slice.  Yield: 18 bars

To cook the quinoa, use the 1:2 ration of quinoa to water.  Rinse 1 cup quinoa well and place it in a small saucepan with 2 cups water.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.  It is done when the seeds swell and sprouts tails. Drain any excess water and cool.  Yields 3 cups.

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