Pecan-Date Pie Bars

We've been playing in the test kitchen trying to figure out some different "relatively" healthy Thanksgiving options.  This is our first shot and it's a keeper.  Brian even had some for breakfast...

 Pecan-Date Pie Bars 

Crust Ingredients:
1 tbsp ground Chia seeds
3 tbsp hot water
2 cups almond flour (you can use any nut flour - be creative and use what you have)
1/3  cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil -melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
Date Filling Ingredients:
3 cups medjool dates - soaked a couple of hours or overnight
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground chia seeds (optional)
1 1/2 cups pecan halves (for topping)                 Raw organic sugar (optional topping)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with some parchment paper and set aside.
2. Make a Chia egg by mixing the ground Chia seeds in hot water in a small cup. Stir and set aside to gel for a few minutes.
3. Place all other crust ingredients in a food processor (this can be mixed by hand to add your own positive energies), adding the Chia egg last. Process until the mixture is well-combined.
4. Pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 26 minutes until the base becomes slightly golden and springs back when touched lightly. It won't be firm at this stage. (Do not over bake - it will firm up later when we put it in the fridge.) Take out of the oven but leave the oven on and set aside on the stove.  Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes.  The crust will still remain soft, so handle with care.   
5. While the crust is baking, use the food processor to blend everything except the nuts. Blend and scrape the processor often to achieve a smooth creamy texture.  Gently spread the filling over the crust. Top with pecans and sprinkle with raw sugar. Return pan to oven and bake for 10 minutes. It will remain soft to the touch, so don't over bake.
 6. When baking is complete, place pan on cooling rack and allow to cool. When pan has cooled sufficiently place in refridge and allow to firm up for a couple of hours.  It can be eaten while still warm the crust just won't be firm (which is still delicious!)                                            
This was a really quick and easy dish, minus the hassle of dealing with making a GF crust.
This is a  definite keeper!!

Blessings to all!
Sweet Date Kisses!

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