Hi everyone! I have a special recipe for you this week- homemade, gluten-free date and oat bars! YUM. We don’t normally eat oats, but with all of the training that Wil and I have been doing over the past month, we decided to create something that we could use as a quick pre, peri or post-workout snack.
Before everyone goes bananas about the fact that I’ve just posted a recipe with oats in it, please read the text below. All of it.
Wil and I can both tolerate oats (after reintroducing them post Whole30) so we can consume them without issue. That doesn’t mean we go around eating oats all of the time and they’re certainly not on our everyday menu.
We don’t eat oatmeal or granola on a regular basis, but in our household, oats do have a specific place and time to be eaten- and that place and time for us is before, during or after a demanding workout when we need a carbohydrate source that’s easy to prepare and eat.
Oats are technically gluten-free, but nowadays most processing plants/facilities process wheat products alongside their oat products. It’s best for anyone consuming oats who may have an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, to buy gluten-free oats. Gluten-free oats can be found in most grocery stores and places like Whole Foods (Bob’s Red Mill) or Trader Joes (Trader Joes brand).
If you don’t know how you tolerate oats (or have never removed them and reintroduced them before), I recommend doing something like a Whole30 where you eliminate all potential allergenic foods- including non-gluten containing grains like oats- and then reintroduce them. You may find that you don’t see or have any reaction, but you may also find that you have some sensitivities or other symptoms after eating oats. To learn more about reintroduction after a Whole30, read here and pay attention to Day 4. If you’re starting from scratch and don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, read It Starts With Food and you’ll be all set.
Enough about the oats. Let’s learn more about these delicious bars!This recipe is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free, legume-free and dairy-free. These bars are packed with natural carbohydrate sources like honey and dates (perfect for athletes), along with some protein from the almonds and almond butter. The bars also contain good fats from the shredded coconut, almond butter and coconut oil. So we’ve got a little bar that has a lot of carbohydrates, a little protein and a little fat- all from good sources.
These bars make a perfect pre-workout snack for demanding workouts and are great for long bike rides. Just pop one in your bike bag and you’re all set. Or, use them before a WOD, long run, weightlifting session, etc. Pair them with some protein such as hardboiled eggs, tuna or beef jerky like this homemade recipe I shared last week. They also make a great “granola bar” for those who make homemade snacks for their kids. With honey and dates as sweeteners, there is no need for added cane sugar or syrups.
Alright already, let’s get to the recipe and see how we make these gluten-free date oat bars!
Gluten-Free Date + Oat Bars
- 2½ cups gluten-free oats
- 10-12 sliced dates (approx. 1 package)
- 1 cup thinly sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon organic pure vanilla extract
- First, line a 7×11 (or 8×11) inch baking dish with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, spread the oats and sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for 10-15 minutes or until a bit brown. While they are toasting, place the honey, coconut oil, almond butter and vanilla in a small saucepan and melt together. Once the oats and almonds are toasted, remove them and place them into a large glass bowl. Then, add the chopped dates, salt and shredded coconut and mix well. Next, add the melted “wet” ingredients to the dry ingredients in the glass bowl. Mix together until all ingredients are completely combined (you may need to use your hands). Pour the mixture into the baking dish and press it down with a spatula until flat. If you have leftover sliced almonds, sprinkle them on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool before cutting. Store in the fridge in a covered container for up to a week.
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