Instead I made use of some other ingredients to go with my oats: dessicated coconut and dates.
The dessicated coconut seems quite perfect for this time of the year, looking like snow flakes, thankfully the subtle-sweet edible kind. The chocolate coloured Kimia dates are imported from Iran. They were neatly packed in the box like dominoes. On the side of the box there was lots of interesting information, including the health property benefits of consuming dates such as Vitamin A - good for the skin, Vitamin B1 - regulating the digestive system, and Vitamin B2 to help the absorption of food (metabolism). Well regardless of the health benefits, I found them quite tasty, fleshy and juicy. Unlike other dates that can be a bit on the dry side plus you have to chew them to extract the flavour, these are soft and almost melt in your mouth like date syrup.
These 'Coconut Date Bars' are a little crumbly on top and not overly sweet. The sweetness comes namely from the date-coconut filling. I actually think they make a lovely change from the flapjacks. Do try them if you get the chance.
I am sharing some of these 'Coconut Date Bars' with Raksha at Raksha's Kitchen who is hosting Cook Eat Delicious - Desserts this month. The theme for December is Coconuts. This food series was founded by Raven at Cook Eat Delicious.
Coconut Date Bars
Makes 6 - 9
275g pitted and chopped dates75g vegan margarine or butter
60g brown sugar
180g plain flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
90g rolled oats
50g dessicated coconut
Combine the dates and 200ml water in a small saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dates are soft.
While the dates cook, melt the margarine or butter with the sugar, then pour into a mixing bowl. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder into the bowl, add the oat and mix until blended. The dough will be crumbly. Firmly pat about two thirds of the dough into a baking pan measuring 8 inch square.
Preheat oven to gas mark 6.
Stir the coconut into the cooked dates. Spread the date mixture evenly over the crust. Then scatter the remaining dough over the date layers as a topping. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the topping is golden and dark brown around the edges. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting into 6 to 9 squares. In a sealed contained, they will keep for up to 2 weeks. Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates.