Ingredient-Challenge Monday, Spiced Date Bars

First, my apologies for not getting the announcement regarding our Ingredient-Challenge Monday out this past weekend, second, I apologize for the overall delay in today’s post (I would have liked to have had this up hours ago!)…that being said, I am happy to be able to share this Ingredient-Challenge Monday inspired recipe with you today. 

This week, the girls of the Ingredient-Challenge Monday offered up the delightful little Date as the ingredient of choice. 

Picture Courtesy Purdue University

My concern with this ingredient was in the ability (or rather inability) to find these delightful little fruits fresh where we live.  And you know what? I was right.  I hit every grocery store in my little town and fond absolutely zero fresh dates to play with. 

However, the great thing about dates (beyond the nutritional value, great flavor and versatility), is that they are just as tasty dried and much easier to find this way. 

This dessert is a gluten free, dairy free twist to one of my all time favorite southern treats.  Replacing refined sugar with ground dates not only increases the fiber and overall nutrition of this dish; it also shows just how versatile this sweet little fruit can be. 

Without further adieu, I present my version of Spiced Date Bars.  Enjoy!

Spiced Date Bars (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

¼ c Coconut Oil

1 Large Egg

½ c Blackstrap Molasses

½ c Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk

½ c Date “Sugar”

2 c Blanched Almond Flour

2 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

¼ Tsp Ground Cloves

¼ Tsp Ground Ginger

1 c Chopped Dates

1 c Whole Pecans

Heat oven to 350f.  Grease and flour 9×13 in baking pan using almond flour as you would regular flour, set aside.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, egg and blackstrap molasses. Whisk in milk and set aside. 

In blender, pour approximately 4 oz dried, chopped dates and pulse on high speed until date granules are about the size of coarse salt…it should look something like this:

(Chopped Dates on the Left, Date “Sugar” on the Right)

In medium bowl combine date “sugar,” almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.  Slowly mix dry ingredients with wet until smooth. 

Evenly spread batter into prepared baking dish.  Layer chopped dates and whole pecans over batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until a knife, when inserted, comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan.  Cut and serve.

Makes approximately 30 squares

Be sure to visit the other ladies of Ingredient-Challenge Monday for their delectable dishes made with these delightfully diverse dates!

Dixie Chik Cooks

Marci Gilbert

From the Little Yellow Kitchen

And while she didn’t join the challenge this week, my heart goes out to Nutritionella…Elle, may your wounds heal quickly, I can not wait to see your creation in full!  xoxo


  1. Those bars look delicious! I had never heard of Blackstrap Molasses before last week when my teacher mentioned them in class. I love that it’s part of your creation and might have to go get some! Thanks for the kind words, I will post my date creation once my hand heals and I get my cut-resistant gloves. 🙂

    • Elle, I hope you have taken time to play with Blackstrap since this post…so filled with nutrition and a little goes a long way. 🙂 Glad to have you back on with the rest of the ICM’ers.


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