Cherry Date Bars – #NoFoodWaste

Photo taken by Mary McCusker, Building Roots team member and author of this article.

At the Moss Park Market, we have been receiving donations of food items from many different people and organizations. Amidst our massive influx of food deliveries as part of our COVID-19 relief efforts, we sometimes receive one-off items that are hard to decide what to do with. We want to make sure that everyone’s food bags are similar and that all the food is distributed as evenly as possible.

A couple of weeks ago we ended up with a single bag of chopped dates and two cans of cherry pie filling from Second Harvest that we were unsure what to do with. I took them home because I hate to see food wasted and came up with this recipe using the cherry pie filling, chopped dates and bananas from the market.

#NoFoodWaste Cherry Date Bars

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup flour

1 ½ cup oats

¼ cup salted butter

¼ cup sugar

3 bananas

1 ½ cup chopped dates

¼ cup flaked coconut

¼ cup chia seeds

¼ cup hemp seeds

1 cup chopped almonds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Splash of milk as needed

1 can of cherry pie filling

Steps:

  • Heat Oven to 350 °F
  • Combine flour oats and sugar in one bowl
  • Combine almonds, coconut, hemp and chia seeds in a separate bowl
  • In a third bowl mash the bananas and combine with the melted butter (not too hot), vanilla extract and milk as needed until it is a fairly liquid consistency
  • Combine the flour and the banana bowls together to create the crumb mixture
  • Fold in the dates, almonds and seeds (the mixture will be very sticky at this point)
  • Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a parchment paper lined baking pan. *NOTE: If using wax paper (or no paper) make sure that you oil the paper or pan first with butter
  • Pour cherry pie filling on top and spread evenly
  • Use the other half of the mixture and crumble small circles evenly across the surface
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until the bottom is browned
  • Let cool and cut into squares
  • ENJOY!!