Big flavor. Zero sugar.
Cutting added sugars from your family’s diet can be challenging, especially when it comes to cakes and cookies. These sweet treats have been the most challenging for me to remake without refined sugar.
But I keep experimenting.
Because as a nation we need to reduce added sugars in our diets. According to the American Heart Association and Sugar Science, a team of health scientists at UCSF, added sugars in a child’s diet vary depending on their age and caloric needs, but should be limited to “between 3-6 teaspoons (12 – 25 grams) per day.” One cup of flavored yogurt can exceed that daily limit. Do the math.
I’m all about what we can have as opposed to what we can’t. So I’m on a mission to create even more recipes that we can all enjoy without any guilt. Which brings me back to these bars. The secret to this super yummy raspberry bar recipe is dates. Blended into a paste, dates give the crumbly crust in these raspberry bars a wonderfully sweet flavor without any refined sugar. That way you can feel good about every bite. And your kids won’t miss the refined sugar. Promise.
Looking for more naturally sugar free dessert recipes? Check out these Easy Strawberry Rugelach cookies. They’re dangerous.
- 8oz pitted dates
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 ¼ cups oats
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup all natural raspberry jam, no sugar added
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Using a food processor, combine the dates and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture comes together into a heavy paste, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
- Add the date paste and egg to the butter and beat on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until thoroughly combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, pecans, baking soda, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. Whisk gently to combine. Add the flour mixture to the date mixture, mixing on low speed until the dough is just combined.
- Transfer ¾ of the dough to the prepared pan. Press the dough firmly into the pan to create the crust. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
- Add the jam, spreading evenly with a knife to cover the entire crust. Using your fingers, evenly distribute the remaining crumbs of dough onto the jam. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown.
- Cool completely. Remove from the pan, then cut into bars.