Healthy Date Squares (sugar free, gluten free, vegan)

Date squares are one of those recipes that make me think about my grandmother, she would always have date squares, fig bars and jam cookies at her house and as a snooty little kid, I always wondered what her deal was. ¬†I mean where is the chocolate? why is she always shoving a jam like spread in all the sweet things and why can’t we just dip this in chocolate? I remember never wanting to try her “healthy” weird things, but when I got older I tried a date square and man oh man! did I love it! the sweetness of the dates with the buttery crust had my head spinning in a whirlwind of love. ¬†Back in the day I classified that as me being healthy, and with such large quantities of sugar and butter, you know its really not that good for you.

As I’ve been trying to eat my large quantities of dates a day for an easier labour ( I’ll let you guys know if it works) I’ve gotten really tired of eating it in oats or smoothies. ¬†I just started not being able to hit my date quota, so these little healthy date squares are my solution! ¬†They are a tasty healthy treat filled with good for you ingredients, made with a small amount of sweetener in the crust, because come one guys! Dates are sweet enough! and coconut oil instead of butter. ¬†its the perfect little grab and go snack that everyone will love.

HEALTHY DATE SQUARES16 squares

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats ( gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds ( I just add flax seeds to the rolled oats while blending it to give it a nice roughage kind of consistency)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp xantum gum
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Directions

In a bowl add the dates, 1 tsp vanilla and boiling water.  Stir around until covered.  Let sit.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ or 180 degrees C.

Add the oats, flax seeds, cinnamon ¬†and salt to a food processor. ¬† Process until you’ve reached the consistency of a wholewheat flour, not to flour like.

Add the sweetener, xantum gum, vanilla and coconut oil.  Pulse until it forms a dough.

Grease a pan.  Take 2/3 of the dough and press it tightly into the pan, making sure its nicely pressed.  Wipe down your processor and add the dates mixture,   Pulse until smooth.

Spread the date mixture over the oats mixture, spreading evenly.  Take the rest of the oat dough and spread it over the date mixture and keep pressing it down.

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Bake for 20 Р35 minutes or until lightly golden all over.  Remove from oven and let completely cool before cutting.  Serve.

30 Weeks Pregnancy Update

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I can’t believe that today I’m 30 weeks pregnant and 5 days! ¬†EEEK! It feels this pregnancy is just getting away from me! and I haven’t really had a moment to just sit back and enjoy it. ¬† ¬†We’ve been in an insane rush, moving into our new place, waiting for things to arrive and trying to make this place a home before the baby arrives. ¬†One of the first things we wanted to get done was our¬†bedroom, we have the cutest little spot set up for baby A’s arrival and we are so close to being done completely with the room. ¬†Our bedroom is on the top level of the house, so we are setting up the nursery for day time use, because we’re always doing something downstairs.

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^^ Sometimes when you ask your husband to take a photo you will get stuck with gems like this or 10 different photos of you trying to fix your scarf while saying wait.

 

I just can’t believe we are at 30 weeks already! My list of stuff to get done seems to be getting bigger and I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed! we have to get more cloth diapers, but I just order some biodegradable disposable diapers for the first week of baby A’s big arrival. ¬†I’m preparing myself for a ¬†really cranky baby that can’t believe how bright and hot the real world is, ¬†having some biodegradable disposable diapers seems like bliss!

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How big is baby : about the size of a cabbage.

Pregnancy Symptoms: After all the moving, carrying stuff around, moving a couch around while Carl wasn’t around, Yes, I know I suck at being pregnant, but I just couldn’t wait! ( I was always safe guys! don’t worry) I had a moment of low blood pressure during the week, it was nothing a homemade electrolyte drink and salty popcorn couldn’t fix, but man it knocked me off my feet! ¬†Some days have been so busy that I didn’t have time to eat healthy or I find myself accidently skipping meals, so I’ve tried to make more healthy snacks that’s quick to eat and can be eaten anywhere. ¬†I’ve made some sugar, free gluten free chia seed protein bars, gluten and sugar free date squares and try to keep vegetable sticks close at hand now. ¬†Baby never seems happy at lunch unless a Kale salad is involved, baby loves kale.

Sleep: I’m still sleeping wonderfully at night (Knock on wood) I hope this continues, because I get grumpy when I don’t get my beauty sleep.

Cravings: I’ve been craving watermelon and mangoes like crazy during this pregnancy, but haven’t been able to find them anywhere, ¬†they’ve been out of season. ¬†Hopefully I get to enjoy some soon.

Movement: Baby is always going crazy in there and just kicks me right in the ribs every second. ¬†I’ve actually seen baby’s foot just resting on my rib, like its nothing but a thang. ¬†I like poking at it until I get a hard kick. ¬†Yes, I obviously deserve the kicks.

Moment of the week: Painting the baby’s nursery, painting the horns of a clay deer gold and starting to decorate the bottom nursery. ¬†After a lot of talk about what to do with the nursery, I really wanted to do a black and white nursery, until Carl made a comment that its going to look like our baby is in Norwegian prison, but it will all be okay, because when baby is done serving time, they will be able to be placed back into society without a problem. ¬†I decided maybe a black and white nursery wasn’t for us, instead we’ve settled on a boho woodland themed nursery, it seems so fitting, ¬†we saw a a fox while walking around in Dublin, when little baby was conceived. I can’t wait for our cute little fox.

Exercise:  Still doing 30 -45 minutes of cardio, weight training and stretching everyday during the week and walking for an hour and a half or more on the weekends.

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So far everything is going wonderfully, I feel strong, mentally and physically. ¬†I’m ready for this home birth and can’t wait to meet our little baby.

What I ate: 28 Weeks Pregnant

I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by, I feel like I need to update and talk more about it before its all over and the lack of sleep thanks to a cute little newborn makes me all crazy and frazzled.

I’ve cut a lot of food out of my diet since finding out I’m pregnant, I’ve figured out what works for me and what doesn’t work for me one bit. ¬†It all seems to be paying off, because I’m feeling great, have a lot of energy, I’m sleeping wonderfully and all my tests keep coming back great. ¬†A couple of things I’ve cut out is; sugar, the big bad culprit we all know is bad for us, but we just can’t get enough of it, I actually wasn’t eating that much sugar before we went to Ireland, but as soon as we arrived in Ireland it was like I just had to have all the sugar. ¬†All those delicious first world treats and candy I’ve never tried before had to be consumed. ¬†I don’t regret my Irish sugar binge one bit, but I’m so glad I’m off sugar again, it just makes me feel so much better and my skin just feels wonderful! I’ve also limited my fruit in take to 3 – 4 fruit a day. ¬†I got rid of most gluten, but kept rye bread in the mix, but I started getting severe heartburn from it from just one bite, so no more bread for me. ¬†I’ve started sprouting most of my grains and legumes for easier digestion, personally I never knew brown rice could be sprouted, but wow, does it improve the taste! ¬†and I’ve cut out soy, unless its fermented. Here is a look at what I’ve been eating.

BREAKFAST: Around 8 am

Gluten Free Overnight PorridgeIron rich Overnight Oats

I tried having a smoothie for breakfast, but it really just doesn’t work for me. ¬†It doesn’t fill me up or keep me going for long, also the consistency really gets me on an empty stomach. ¬†Instead I’ve been sticking to my Iron rich overnight oats or Grain free coconut flour overnight porridge filled with chia seeds, ground flax and hemp seeds. ¬†I top both of these with fruit and coconut yogurt. ¬†Its so good and keeps me going till around¬†12 pm – 1 pm. ¬†Overnight porridge is just so convenient, you add all your ingredients in a jar, shake it up and leave it in the fridge overnight. ¬†You wake up to a delicious, no hassle breakfast. ¬†Convenient.

Snack: 12 pm

Green smoothie

I don’t really feel snacky, the porridge really keeps me full and satisfied for a long time, but around 12 pm or 1 pm, I start feeling a bit of a hankering for food. I either have a green smoothie or a couple of spoons of my favourite oh mega peanut butter or nuts.

LUNCH 2 pm

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Kale salad to go

^^ Look how well it travels.

I don’t really stray to far from my trusty kale salad for lunch, its so easy to make. I usually make a big salad that last me the whole week, it keeps well and transports amazingly in a lunchbox. ¬†The kale salad consists of ¬†kale chopped finely and massaged with lemon juice, sprinkled with salt and an avocado smashed in. ¬†Topped with beetroot, carrot, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, peppers, roasted pumpkin seeds and lightly fried tempeh or walnut and mushroom meat. ¬†Other lunches I have; ¬†a nori wrap filled with sprouted beetroot hummus and vegetables. ¬†So yummy and filling.

Snack: 5 pm – 5 -30 pm

vegan protein shake

Like clock work I have my green protein shake at this time. ¬†I’ve started adding moringa leaf powder to it for added benefits. ¬†Moringa is just the best.

DINNER: 6:30 pm – 7 pm

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Amazing lentil soup

For dinner I’ve been having my Moroccan lentil soup, a coconut flour base pizza, with homemade sugar free Iron rich BBQ sauce topped with a lot of veggies. ¬†Burrito bowls made with cauliflower and broccoli rice, walnut meat and other veggies. ¬†and a lot more.

DESSERT:

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I usually have one block of 85% or darker, dark chocolate or Frozen banana bites with date salted caramel.  I use the salted date sauce in my protein shake for extra date goodness.

Drinks : not mentioned is all the water I drink! ¬†I drink a lot of water some with lemon in it some just like that and occasionally I’ll have a rooibos tea latte. ¬†My dinners change, but breakfast and lunch stays the same! ¬†Not mentioned: I do take prenatal vitamins!

That’s just a quick peak into what I’m eating while pregnant.