Date Nut Bars close to store’s secret recipe
Down to Earth is celebrating 30 years of catering to our better impulses when it comes to eating.
The first Down to Earth opened in 1977 on Maui, the project of a group of friends who wanted to spread the word about vegetarianism. It has grown into Hawaii's largest natural foods chain, with a main store on South King Street in Moiliili, and locations in Kailua and Pearlridge and two on Maui.
Although the chain remains committed to the no-meat lifestyle, it attracts eaters of all persuasions, with its baked goods especially drawing fans across the board.
Susan Linn wrote in search of the recipe for the store's date bars. The exact recipe is a secret, but in the birthday spirit, Tandis Bishop, who leads the store's cooking seminars, helped put together a similar version; the recipe follows.
It's a vegan bar made with rolled oats, nuts and apples, as well as three hearty cups of dates.
For those who'd like to learn more about the Down to Earth style of cooking, the store offers free classes at 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. This week's class covers a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu: Tofu Turkey, with gravy, stuffing, green beans and a vegan pumpkin pie.
Classes are held at 2515 S. King St., next door to the store, on the second floor. Seating is first-come, first-served, and samples are served. Call 947-3249.
Date Nut Bars
3/4 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pecans, finely chopped (plus 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, for topping)
3 apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups water
3 cups dates, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan and oil sides.
Combine crust ingredients, except coarsely chopped pecans, mixing well. Press 3 cups of crust into pan until flat. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Cool.
In a saucepan, combine apples, lemon zest, lemon juice and water. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, until apples are tender.
Add dates and simmer, uncovered, stirring and mashing dates, 3 to 5 minutes, or until dates are soft and mixture is almost smooth. Remove heat and stir in cinnamon. Spread evenly over cooled crust.
Combine coarsely chopped pecans with remaining 2 cups crust mixture and crumble over filling. Bake 35 for 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool before cutting.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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