I have been eyeballing Date Crumbles in grocery stores for years. But I never bought them because I was worried about the oat flour being contaminated with gluten. In our household I have to keep a close eye on that.
Yesterday, while browsing the bulk section in the health food store I came across my path once again. I looked at them, I wanted to buy them, I thought they would be great to add to trail mixes, granolas, sprinkle on cereal or yogurt and even just eat as is but once again, the fear of gluten popped into my mind.
Though oats do not contain gluten, if the packaging doesn’t state gluten-free, chances are that they are processed in a facility that makes other gluten type foods. So, I passed them up once again.
On the drive home as I was lost in thought (but paying attention to the road :) I got to thinking… why can’t I make my own?! Instantly, I had a plan mapped out. I dropped the grocery bags to the floor and headed straight for the food processor. No need to further explain the rest of the events that took place for you can read about that below.
Bottom line… they turned out perfectly. I had a lot of fun making them and was ecstatic that they turned out so well. Most of all, I love the fact that I had complete control over the quality of the ingredients that I used and they are 100%, for sure, positively, gluten-free.
Made from 100% all-natural dates and oat flour. An excellent source of fiber and minerals such as potassium. Ideal for adding into unbaked goods, or sprinkled into cereal. California-grown and packaged in Hood River, Oregon (insert your hometown here).
3 cups packed Mejool dates, pitted
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp desired flour (for coating, see #8 below)
Have one dehydrator tray ready, fitted with the teflex sheet. Set aside.
Remove the pits from the dates as you put them in the measuring cup.
Be sure to inspect each date as you tear it in half to remove the pit. Mold and insect eggs can infect dried dates. I don’t mean to gross you out, you just need to be made aware of this.
Place the dates in the food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Add the water. Process until the dates turn into a creamy paste.
This will take some patience and you will need to stop the machine every once in a while to scrape the sides down.
Once the paste is formed, using a rubber spatula, place the paste in a sturdy piping bag.
Use a cloth or silicone piping bag for this recipe. You will be using a good amount of hand pressure to squeeze it out and you don’t want a plastic bag to pop on you. For piping tools that I use, click (here).
When piping, this is a good time to call in your strong partner. Good hand strength is needed.
Hold the piping bag tip about 1/4″ above the teflex sheet and slowly guide the lines of date paste down the sheet. Don’t hold it to high or you will create a squiggly line.
Keep a constant pressure on the piping bag as you squeeze out the paste. This will ensure an even thickness of the line.
After each completed line of date paste, stop and retwist the piping bag, working all paste towards the tip. This will eliminate air bubbles in the bag and give you a solid grip.
Place the tray in the dehydrator and dry at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 16-24 hours.
Once they are dry enough, cut them into 1/4-1/2″ lengths.
Toss them in a bowl with your choice of flour. Be gentle through this process.
Pull apart any of the dates bits that might be sticking together so that each piece gets a light coating.
Place the coated dates into a mesh strainer and lightly tap the strainer into the bowl, allowing the excess flour to shake off.
Store in a mason jar with a lid. I keep mine in the fridge for freshness.
Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.