Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars with A Creamy Date Filling
I’m always amazed by how quickly the weekend comes and goes. I often find myself feeling so busy and overwhelmed during the week that when it comes time to relax, I take full advantage of it.
After a hectic first week back to school and 40+ hour week at work, I was beyond ready to sit back and do nothing. And by nothing I mean clean the apartment, go to the grocery store, write and edit posts, as well as create new recipes to share throughout the week, and get my butt to the gym. In all seriousness, I freaking love my weekends and just having the time to do everything that I want and enjoy to do. I’m definitely a people-pleasing, put my own needs aside type of person, but I’ve learned how important it is to be a little selfish every now and again.
And I mean selfish in the best way possible. I’m a libra, so by nature, I’m a harmony-loving, people pleasing, and balanced living creature of habit. I tend to take on every task presented, and try to balance it all in a one man show. I’m terrible at saying no, and even worse at asking for help. I’ve decided that 2018 is going to be my year and I’m going to let go of, and decline, anything that doesn’t serve me. I’m going to get better at saying no without further explanation, I’m going to take more time off and do things that better me both mentally and physically, and I’m going to start doing more of what I truly want to be doing – even if that means sitting on my couch all day, completely away from social media. Again, being selfish is the best way possible.
Over this past weekend, winter storm Hunter paid us a visit, and left us snowed in from Friday night until early Sunday morning. I couldn’t help but think this was a message from the universe telling me to slow down and remember that selfish promise I made to myself. Whether coincidence or snow gods, I didn’t question it.
I took Saturday afternoon to clean, bake, write, bake and clean – and it felt so good. It must have been the weather because I was craving something warm and sweet, like a apple pie or crumble during the fall. I started my morning with a big bowl of protein oats and quinoa, which is very unlike me. Afterwards I couldn’t help but think about how tasty and fulfilling it was, so I had to make one of my absolute favorite breakfast bars with a cinnamon oatmeal crumble and a creamy date filling. These multilayer bars are naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup, and are incredibly easy to whip up.
With a short bread-like crust and a gooey sweet center, these breakfast bars are one of my favorites! I can’t forget about the amazing cinnamon and oat crumble topping because it is to die for. I swear these taste like something you might order from a quaint coffee shop, expect much much healthier and way less expensive. I’ve also made these bars with a number of other fillings like fresh raspberry jam, blueberries, and even chunky nut butters. They are so versatile and packed with healthy ingredients to keep you feeling your best, even when you want something sweet!
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Creamy Date-Filled Oatmeal Bars
What You Will Need
For The Crust:
- 1 ripe banana, smashed
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup coconut flour, or almond flour
- 1 scoop of protein powder, optional – (additional 1/4 cup of flour is recommended if omitting)
For The Date Filling:
- 15 dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup water
For The Crumble:
- 1 cup oats
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil, or butter
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or grease thoroughly
In a large mixing bowl, mash one ripe banana and mix in one egg. Once thoroughly combined, add coconut flour and optional scoop of protein. Continue mixing until you have a thick dough like batter. Carefully pour and spread the batter into your baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just browning the edges slightly.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling by adding the pitted dates and water into a food processor, and blend into a smooth paste. Set aside to prepare the crumble topping. Using a small mixing bowl, combine the oats, maple syrup, coconut oil and cinnamon until sticky and evenly covered. You might want to add in a tablespoon of water if the oats seem too dry.
Once the crust is done baking and cooling, spread the date filling evenly over the entire first layer, followed by the crumb topping. I would recommend patting down the oat topping to ensure it will bake into the filling, rather than burn and fall off when eating. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden in color and does not fall.
Let cool completely, slice into 9 bars and enjoy! Refined sugar free, high in fiber, and so delicious!