Date and Cranberry Oatmeal Squares

Instead of just using dates I’ve added dried cranberries, which give these squares a different and delicious flavor. I keep my dried fruits in the freezer so I always have some on hand. You can use scissors to cut your dates.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a saucepan, combine the dates, cranberries, sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the dates and cranberries are soft and the liquid is absorbed. Mash the mixture and let it cool for 5 minutes.

3. In a bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, oil and water until combined. Press half of the mixture onto the bottom of the pan to make a crust. Spread the date and cranberry mixture evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the filling.

4. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes or until the squares are golden. Let cool on a wire rack.

1 1/2 cups chopped dried dates
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups large rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:

Calories 290
Protein 3.2 g
Fat 8.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Carbohydrates 48 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 7 mg
Fiber 3 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes

Make Ahead: Bake the day before and keep at room temperature.

Makes 12 squares

Nutrition Watch: Dried dates are loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber. They keep your bowel habits regular and are an excellent source of potassium.