This delectable sweet and healthy dessert comes from toronto's own earth and city. They're an all vegan, seasonally inspired food company that has our cities farmers' market market covered! We connected over a mutual admiration for each others instagrams... cause isn't that how all networking happens these days? I met up with owners, Lisa and Cassandra, as well as Jessica and Veronica who work in the kitchen and out at the markets and we thought it would be great to get the girls to share one of their favourite recipes on hot for food.
What's the inspiration behind the recipe?
The peanut butter and jam combo is classic and it appeals to so many different people so we wanted to make it into a date square version. The jam is an amazing vehicle for featuring local food producers (the jam is from spade and spoon) and highlighting seasonal, as well as talking about preserving food and it's importance to a sustainable food system. We also like to keep kids in mind when we're creating recipes, because it really does go back to the kids who are the future of our food system and we want them to be involved in a good way.
What do you say to people who think eating vegan takes too much time and effort?
It doesn't take longer to cook vegan, seasonal, healthy food than it does to cook other food and eating vegan, local, and seasonal can be so simple and very affordable. We've been convinced that it's more expensive and time consuming but you can make such simple wholesome meals with very little effort actually. You can just go to your farmers' market and pick up a few items, sauté them, and put them on brown rice with a sauce. That's a simple cheap meal that's nourishing and really good for the planet and the people.
Make sure you check all the goodies from earth and city at a few of the year round farmers' markets like wychwood barns, sorauren farmers' market, and dufferin grove.
crumble ingredients (makes 12 squares):
3 1/2 C gluten-free oats
2 1/2 C raw almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 C dates, pitted
2 C natural peanut butter
2 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 C dates, pitted
2 tbsp water
1 C jam of your choice
3 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
Grind almonds in a food processor until it's a fine meal and put them into a mixing bowl. Grind oats the same way, then add the almond meal back in.
Add cinnamon and sea salt, and with the food processor running add in dates a few at a time until the mixture starts to come together. Press 3/4 of this mixture into a parchment lined 9" x 13" pan.
Blend peanut butter, bananas, and sea salt together in a food processor. And in the same style as the almonds/oats mixture feed the dates in a few at a time until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture seems too thick to spread with a spatula add a little water as necessary.
Spread this mixture over the pressed base in the pan.
You can mix chia seeds into the jam if you like, then spread the jam over top of the peanut butter layer.
Then add the remaining crumble on top.
Refrigerate overnight and cut into squares. Store squares in the fridge to prevent melting.