Sunny Oat-Date Bars Recipe

Oats actually reduce cholesterol and improve heart-health, so if you’ve been overindulging a bit over the holidays, these tasty treats may be just the thing for you and your loved ones. They use honey instead of refined sugar, and the oats can help whisk the excess cholesterol from holiday feasting right out of your body.

These easy to make, sweetly crunchy oat bars hide a tender layer of potassium-rich dates flavored with cheery citrus. Both children and adults love them, and we love how good they are for us. Who knew healthy could taste this good?


2 cups chopped and pitted dates
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup safflower or other light oil

1. In a saucepan, combine dates, orange juice, and orange rind. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until dates are very soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine honey and oil. Using a sieve, thoroughly drain the liquid from the cooked dates into the honey-oil mixture, stirring well to combine. In a separate bowl, mash dates until smooth.

4. Combine oat and honey mixtures, stirring to mix thoroughly.

5. Press two-thirds of this dough into a 9 x 9-inch cake pan. Spread mashed date filling over this, then gently and evenly pat remaining crumb mixture on top.

4. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes about 24 bars.

Inspired by The New Laurel's Kitchen, by Laurel Richardson et al (Ten Speed Press, 1996).


Emma Pitman
Emma Pitman8 years ago

Best date squares ever, by far! I make them all the time for family and friends. Everyone loves them. Thanks so much!

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C8 years ago


Marie Breskic
Marie Breskic11 years ago

Tried them. Yummy.