best ever vegan oat nut date bars

Our friends at The Vegetarian Site claim that this is one of their favorite desserts of all time. Try it and see for yourself!

filling:
3/4 pound dates, chopped
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1 cup water
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped

crust:
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup vegan margarine (never hydrogenated)
1 cup unrefined sugar

1. In medium saucepan, combine dates, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (approximately 8 minutes). Remove from heat and cool. Add lemon juice, vanilla, and walnuts.

2. In separate mixing bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda. Add oatmeal, applesauce, margarine, and sugar. Combine well. With wet hands, press half of the oatmeal mixture into a greased 13x9x2-inch or 11x11x2-inch pan. Spread with filling. Cover with remaining oatmeal mixture.

3. Bake at 350ยบ for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares. Refrigerate if desired. Enjoy!

More vegan recipes from the Vegetarian Site are available here.