A few days ago, at 2:00 a.m., my cell phone rang and I got some incredible news; my first niece had made her way into this world! My baby brother, sister-in-law, and darling nephew, were now a beautiful family of four! Hearing the news made me incredibly happy. I couldn’t sleep, I laid in bed for hours feeling in total awe of the whole thing; there was now a new life in this world. I could almost physically feel the sheer miraculousness of it all!
My sister-in-law was completely in tune with this pregnancy. She had guessed the birthdate, had done her nesting right before her labour started (making homemade body butter for the baby nonetheless), had arranged for my parents to come and stay with my nephew a few days in advance, and more. The birth itself happened so quickly, and smoothly, I felt that she was nothing short of a pregnancy and birth goddess!
When I woke up the next morning, I was inspired to make something healthy and delicious to bring to the hospital. I knew the ingredients had to be energy-giving, nourishing, and tasty (of course!), something that would suit the celebratory atmosphere.
I pulled together ingredients for the crust that I knew would naturally work well together; almonds, coconut, dates, and oats. And for the topping, beautiful Okanangan peaches cooked down into a thick, rich, fruit butter.
I put it all together, and crossed my fingers, hoping it would taste as good as it looked. And that it certainly did! The crust was as chewy and decadent as I had imagined, and the cooked peaches were tart, and SO flavorful. Together, perfect symbiosis! A fitting treat to welcome my beautiful niece into the world! And for my sister-in-law, to celebrate and honor the goddess that she is.
- 8-10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup almonds
- pinch of salt
- 4 large peaches, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- Put the pitted dates into a high-speed blender or food processor and cover with boiling water. Let this rest for a minimum of ½ an hour.
- In a stainless steel frying pan, cook peaches on medium-low heat. When they are fragrant and have released some liquid use a potato masher to further crush the peach chunks. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon. Turn the heat down so the peaches are cooking at a low simmer.
- Drain the water from dates. Add the oats, unsweetened coconut, and almonds. Pulse gently to combine and macerate the ingredients. You will need to stir the mixture often, as it is very thick. When you can easily form a ball with the mixture, it is done.
- Once your peaches have reduced down to a thick paste, remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract.
- Line a brownie pan with parchment paper. Dump the sticky crust mixture into the pan. Using another piece of parchment paper, press the mixture down and flatten it. Try and make it as flat and even as possible.
- Spread the peach mixture on top. Use a spatula to spread it flat.
- Freeze the bars for ½ an hour to 45 minutes. Cut the bars into your preferred size. Store in the freezer with pieces of parchment paper between the layers so that the bars do not stick together.
- The bars can be eaten cold straight out of the freezer, or left outside to come to room temperature if desired.