Archive for ‘Dates’

August 13, 2012

Oatmeal Date Bars

Use the best-quality dates you can find! Fresh medjool dates are my favorite and they worked perfectly in this recipe. Store in an airtight container, the bars will keep for a couple days.

 

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Total time: 1 hour, largely unattended

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Butter 8×8-inch metal baking pan.

3. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add dates; simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

4. Combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; stir to blend.

 

5. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps form.

6. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture over. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; press gently to adhere. Bake until brown at edges and golden brown and set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve.

 

Happy Eating!

 

Love,

Yang

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June 28, 2012

My Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal

You can make this oatmeal ahead of time in a big batch and refrigerate the rest; simply microwave it for a minute or two to reheat it. You can make a large batch or a small one, just make sure the oats to water ratio is about 1:4. A batch of cooked steel cut oatmeal will last for about a week in the fridge. You can use rolled oats (which take less time to cook), but steel cut oats are preferred due to their nutty flavor, chewy texture, and higher nutritional content. Dates are easier to chop when they’ve been refrigerated. To pit a date, slice a date in half lengthwise and the pit will come out easily. If you’re watching your sugar intake, omit the maple syrup, as the banana and dates provide enough natural sweetness. Oatmeal is incredibly versatile: you can top a bowl with fresh or dried fruit, nuts, spices, cocoa powder, Nutella, nut butters, ground flax seed, etc. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Time: 45 minutes, largely unattended

  • 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal (cheapest in the bulk section at Whole Foods. You can also get a bag from Bob’s Red Mill or a tin of McCann’s)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • Chopped pecans (as many as you like)
  • 3-4 Fresh dates, pitted and chopped (international produce section at Safeway)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • Vanilla extract (to taste)
  • Maple Syrup or honey (optional)
  • Greek yogurt (optional)

1. Boil the water in a medium sized pot.

2.  Pour the steel cut oats into the water, reduce heat to low.

3.  Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.

4. While the oatmeal is cooking, slice the banana, remove the pits from the dates and roughly chop them.

5. In the last several minutes of cooking, add in a small amount of vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir. The oatmeal will be done when it is not too watery and has a thick nutty texture.

6. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl, top it with the sliced banana, chopped pecans, chopped dates, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Happy eating!

Love,

Yang

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