Orange-Tahini Oat Bars.


Yields

8-12 bars

Ingredients


250 ml soft, pitted dates

80 ml tahini (sesame butter)

80 ml unsweetened applesauce

1 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp orange juice (~ 1 orange)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

375 ml rolled oats

250 ml sunflower seeds

125 ml raisins

60 ml sesame seeds

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Zest from 1 1/2 large un-waxed oranges

1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp flax seeds (optional)


Directions

Preheat oven 190. Use coconut oil or butter to coat an 25 cm square baking dish. Add dates to a food processor and process until they are finely minced and begin to form a ball. In a small sauce pan, over low heat, warm tahini, applesauce, syrup, and orange juice, mixing well until  the mixture is fully incorporated and liquid. Cool slightly, then add to the food processor with the dates along with vanilla extract. Process until the mixture has smoothed out and the dates are full incorporated into the liquid,about 1 minute. 

In the meantime in a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients (oats through salt, and flax seeds if using). Mix well, then add the date mixture while still warm. Stir together with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon until the oat mixture is fully coated and sticks together. Pour into baking dish, pressing down so it gets even. This is important so it cooks evenly. 

Bake of r25-28 minutes, until edges are just beginning to turn light golden brown and the middle is still slightly pale. (Note: Don't wait until the middle is also golden brown and completely dry to the touch or the bars will be too dry once cooled.)Place on a cooling rack and cool completely (at least 1 hour), then use a serrated knife to cut into bars or squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (5-7 days) or in the fridge/freezer for longer.

Credit

Katie Schmidt

http://www.wholenourishment.net