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“Healthy” Oat Squares And Chocolate Brownies – Three Recipes

Healthy oat squares, healthy chocolate oat squares, and healthy vegan, wheat free, egg free, chocolate brownies by Kerri Awosile

If you saw my Instagram stories the other day, you may well have seen a little glimpse of these yummy bakes (well, two of them anyway). You answered, unanimously, you wanted the recipes so – your wish is my command! Today’s creative lifestyle project isn’t just two recipes, however, it’s actually three. The original “Healthy” Oat Squares, “Healthy” Chocolate Oat Squares, and “Healthy” Chocolate Brownies. I’ll explain all the inverted commas in a bit.

The reason? Well, though I have made the original “healthy” oat squares/bars many times before, this was the first time I had tried the recipe in chocolate and I’m not certain if I like it or not. I mean, I’m still eating them, but I don’t find myself reaching for more than one chocolate oat square at a time (the mark of something really delicious!). I like the flavour but, to me, the texture is odd with the chocolate taste. It doesn’t work together somehow. My mum, on the other hand, loves them – which is why I’m still sharing the recipe, in case it sounds like the sort of thing you’d enjoy. That little spark of promising flavour got me thinking, though. What if I could find the right texture to go with it? That’s when I came up with the third recipe, for “healthy” chocolate brownies… and oooh it’s good!

Healthy, vegan, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, oat squares recipe by Kerri Awosile UK

“Healthy” Oat Squares

I keep putting healthy in inverted commas because who can really define what healthy is? My version of healthy might not be yours. However, it’s a bit of a mouthful to call them what they actually are: vegan, refined-sugar free, egg free, dairy free, wheat free (gluten free even, if you use gluten free oats), oat squares! Try saying that in a hurry. Let’s just stick with “healthy”, agreed?

These are a staple, every-day kind of snack/treat. They aren’t sickly sweet, but they are just enough to stop me reaching for more indulgent choices.

Makes 9 to 12 squares (depending how you choose to cut them).

Ingredients

200g Pitted Dried Dates

1tbsp Coconut Oil + extra for greasing

200ml Water + 2tbsp

3tbsp Maple Syrup

250g Rolled Oats (I use whatever porridge oats I have in the cupboard, but you could just as easily use gluten free oats if needed)

Healthy oat squares mixture about to go in oven, creative project Kerri Awosile

Method

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius/200 degrees Celsius with Fan/Gas Mark 7.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the dates, coconut oil and 2tbsp of water for five minutes. Stir occasionally, so it doesn’t stick. After 5 minutes the liquid should be mostly absorbed by the dates, and the dates should be starting to soften. Remove from the heat.

Add the 200ml of water, and maple syrup to the pan. Then, using a blender (I just use a handheld stick blender), zizz up the mixture. You’re aiming for a thick, quite smooth, and sloppy ‘gloop’. That really doesn’t paint a nice picture, but I can assure you it tastes good!

Add the blended date mix to the oats. Stir well, until it’s all combined.

Grease a square baking dish (about 8 inch/20 cm) with a little coconut oil. You want to get into the corners, so the mix doesn’t stick.

Press the mixture into the dish using a metal spoon (get right into those corners). Then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until firm and golden brown.

Once baked, allow to cool in the dish for 5 minutes before using a sharp knife to go around the edge (releasing it from the sides) and cut into squares. Leave for a couple more minutes, then carefully place the squares on a cooling-rack to cool completely.

Ta-da – “healthy” oat squares ready to eat. Vegan friendly, refined-sugar free, egg free, and wheat/gluten free.


plant based chocolate oat squares by Kerri Awosile

“Healthy” Chocolate Oat Squares

Here is the controversial “healthy” chocolate oat squares recipe. I’d love to know if you like it or not. The texture is the same as the original recipe, meaning they have a sort of flapjack meets baked porridge feel. It works really well in the original flavour, but I’ll let you decide if you like it in chocolate.

Makes 9 to 12 squares.

Ingredients

200g Pitted Dried Dates

1tbsp Coconut Oil + extra for greasing

200ml Water + 2tbsp

3tbsp Maple Syrup

200g Rolled Oats

50g Cocoa Powder

Healthy chocolate vegan oat squares ready for the oven mixture in baking dish, by Kerri Awosile

Method

Exactly the same steps as the original squares. Simply mix the cocoa in at the same time as the oats.


vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, egg free, chocolate brownies recipe by Kerri Awosile UK

“Healthy” Chocolate Brownies

Oooh boy, I’m excited about this recipe. As a former wedding cake maker, I’m grateful to have some good baking knowledge. It means I’m often able to create and adapt recipes. I’ll be completely honest, though – it doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes, even if something looks right on paper, it just doesn’t work! This, is not one of those times. It worked… it worked good!

With a gooey, squidgy, but not stodgy texture, and a sweet but not over-the-top chocolate flavour, they really hit the spot.

Still vegan friendly, refined-sugar free, egg free, and wheat/gluten free, I feel less naughty having more than one (a good thing given I can’t stop eating them). They aren’t, however, nut free like the last two recipes. The ground almond helps with both the texture and flavour and is a key part of the recipe.

Makes 9 to 12 squares.

Ingredients

200g Pitted Dried Dates

1tbsp Coconut Oil + extra for greasing

200ml Water + 2tbsp

3tbsp Maple Syrup

100g Ground Almond

75g Cocoa Powder

75g Rolled Oats

refined sugar free chocolate brownie mix in baking dish by Kerri Awosile

Method

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius/200 degrees Celsius with Fan/Gas Mark 7.

In a small saucepan gently heat the dates, coconut oil and 2tbsp of water for five minutes. Stir occasionally, so it doesn’t stick. After 5 minutes the liquid should be mostly absorbed by the dates, and the dates should be starting to soften. Remove from the heat.

Add the 200ml of water, maple syrup, and oats to the pan. Then, using a blender, zizz up the mixture. It will take a bit of time to get the oats to give in and whizz down but, you’re aiming for a thick, quite smooth, gloop/paste.

Add the blended date and oat mix to the ground almond and cocoa powder. Stir well, until it’s all combined.

Grease a square baking dish (about 8 inch/20 cm) with a little coconut oil.

Press the mixture into the dish using a metal spoon. Then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It should have a firm-ish top, but give way when you press with your finger. The edges should be browning, and a cake-tester should come out ever so slightly sticky/chocolatey but not covered in mixture.

Once baked, allow to cool in the dish for 5 minutes before using a sharp knife to go around the edge and cut into squares. Leave for a couple more minutes, then carefully place the squares on a cooling-rack to cool completely.

There you have it. “Healthy” chocolate brownies!

Healthy oat squares, healthy chocolate oat squares, and healthy vegan, wheat free, egg free, chocolate brownies by Kerri Awosile

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat another square, as writing this post has made me peckish. I hope you enjoy this creative project and I’d love to hear your feedback. If you try out any of the recipes, share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see (if your account is private, you’ll need to message me a screenshot). Enjoy!