date walnut & oat chunks

14th February 2011

It is easy to follow a whole food, natural diet when high quality foods are available.  Here in Israel, and on my sister’s ‘farm’, the range of choices are too hard to pass up.  So in keeping with that trend, I have been hunting for an immediate after-workout whole food, carb/protein snack to use as a recovery food at the club, before I am able to eat something more substantial.  In the past, I have made the oaty, nutty, puffed rice crisps for a sweet treat, however despite the choice of other high quality ingredients, I am unable to find rice syrup here.  The following recipe is an adaptation and I must admit, a better one.

Rice syrup may be a rarity in Israel, but you can find date syrup, and fresh, fat dates are in abundance. Some still with their branches attached.  Why not use what’s on offer, I say.  Oats, dates, walnuts, coconut, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, unrefined coconut oil (a health food in itself), coconut milk and date syrup all work together to provide a chunk of goodness with surprise little pockets of varying textures.  The dark chocolate gives the ooze (the chopped up bits), the walnuts provide the crunch, the oats and coconut are the grainy bits and the dates give the chew factor.

I made chunks of mixture, but you could just as easily make these into flat biscuits for more of a crisp factor, which my sister prefers and requested.  And, as you can imagine, as I am a guest here for a few months, it is best to appease the kitchen master.  However, much to Stacey’s disappointment, they did not maintain their crispness the next day.  In saying that, she also wants me to warn you that these ‘chunks’ are of the moist type, so if you are expecting a biscuit-like crunch, these are definitely not for you.  I, on the other hand, love the texture.  Oh, and the raw mixture tasted just as good as the baked…..most of it did make it onto the tray and into the oven.  For my first experiment, I halved the following quantities, which made approx. 16.  My second experiment (which is the one below), I added coconut milk to replace some of the date syrup (the 1st version was coyingly sweet), and I made the whole batch, which was approximately 30 chunks.

date walnut & oat chunks

If Date Syrup (silan) is unavailable, substitute rice syrup. Try and hunt it down though, as the flavour is very good.

Makes approx. 30 small-sized chunks

ingredients :

2 cups oats

1 cup chopped dates

½ cup dried coconut

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

2 tab sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine sea salt (optional – I like the hint of the salt)

1 tsp baking powder

50g dark chocolate (half shaved/grated & remainder roughly chopped) – can add more if wish

3 tab. coconut oil (pure, unrefined – available from health food stores)

½ cup date syrup (silan)

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

preparation :

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a flat baking tray/biscuit tray with baking paper.

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well to ensure dates and nuts are well coated.  Heat coconut oil until becomes liquid, remove from heat and whisk in date syrup, coconut milk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, mixing in well.  Use hands to combine all the ingredients well.

Using a dessertspoon to gauge size and pick up mixture, form balls/chunks and place on tray.  Bake in oven for 8 – 10 minutes until brown.  Remove from oven and leave on tray to cool.  Don’t worry if chunks appear soft, as they will harden up as they cool.

Goodness shared from Donna

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