Servings: About 12 nicely-sized bars (bake in an 8 X 8, 9 X 9, or 9 X 13 inch pan--adjust cooking times accordingly)
1 cup plump medjool dates (mine were small & I needed 12 to make a full cup, Cathy used just 7), pitted & diced
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice (water is OK, but bars will be less sweet)
1 cup oat flour (OK to process rolled oats into flour, if you prefer)
2+ cups of rolled oats Note: I needed about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of additional rolled oats because my batter was too wet with only 2 cups. The ripeness & size of my bananas may have accounted for my too wet batter.
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 medium-sized ripe (speckled) bananas, diced.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries, fresh preferred, but frozen are OK, too.
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Place pitted & diced dates into a small bowl with the apple juice. Set aside & let these soak for at least 20 minutes.
2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Use an 8 X 8, 9 X 9, or 9 X 13 silicone pan, if you have one. If not, line the pan with parchment paper, making sure the sides are lined as well, cutting slits in the corners of the paper so that it overlaps & fits well.
3. Combine the flour, just 2 cups of the oats (for now), cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl & set aside.
4. Place the diced dates & apple juice mixture, bananas, & vanilla, into a blender (high-speed preferred) & blend until creamy.
5. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredient bowl & mix with a fork.
6. Fold in the blueberries & walnuts. You want the batter similar to a muffin batter, rather than too wet. Add some extra oats (1/4 to 1/2 cup) if your batter is too wet. Mine was. Sorry for this cryptic instruction.
7. Bake for 25-45 minutes depending upon the size of the pan you use. Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes by poking the bars with a knife or a fork. It's done when the fork or knife come out clean. Katelin's 9 X 9 pan took 30 minutes. Cathy's 9 X 13 pan took 25 minutes. My 8 X 8 pan took 42 minutes--but the added blueberries + the smaller pan may have accounted for that. My oven temperature is accurate, so just start watching for doneness at 25 minutes, depending upon the size of your pan.
Note: If you use water rather than apple juice, your bars will be less sweet, but even with the apple juice, this was a "just right, not-too-sweet" bar for my tastes.