mum's date crunchies

I've mentioned before that my mum was well ahead of her time in believing in a healthy diet.
Strange as it may now seem, back in the sixties and seventies, the idea that what you ate had much bearing on health was seen as slightly weird.
 But mum was very interested in a vegetarian diet and also did a lot of baking using wholemeal flour. She had a recipe book from a company called Prewett's and one of her go-to recipes was date crunchies.
Quick and easy, these delicious treats can be made in moments.
The story goes, that if unexpected visitors were spotted coming along the road, mum could have these mixed together and in the oven before they knocked on the door!
Here is my adaptation of that recipe:
5oz/150g oats
5oz/150g self raising flour (white or wholemeal)
2 and a half oz/60g brown sugar
5oz/150g softened butter
2 blocks of dried dates about 1lb/500g in total
Place the dates with about 3 tblsp water into a saucepan (or covered bowl in the microwave) and heat gently until they soften to a spreadable paste.
Meanwhile, rub the remaining ingredients together as though making pastry.
Press half the mixture into the base of a rectangular baking tray 11x7'' or 28/18cm.
Spread the dates on top and then sprinkle over the remaining oat mixture and press down lightly.
Bake at 180c for about 30 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
 And just as a matter interest and to show that there are fashions in everything, even the way we photograph food, here is the photo from the original book.
and  complete with a chart !



  1. Oh, these look so good! I love the sticky sweetness of dates.

  2. Yes! I remember Prewett's Muesli! Such a long time ago.

    Do you have any of the old Cranks cookbooks? I still use mine even though they are falling apart. Same slightly lurid photography, and very similar recipes that make you feed you are living The Good Life.

    1. I'm glad someone else remembers Prewett's! I think their range of goods has diminished of late. I do have a couple of old Cranks cookbooks too with their 'Good Life' recipes! I also have a much more recent one called 'The Cranks Bible' Nadine Abensur which has some interesting and delicious recipes.

  3. Lovely. Date slices, as I knew them, were a fixture in my childhood too. I made some for our village Jubilee celebrations and they went down very well with older folk!

  4. Oh they look lovely (I'm currently addicted to Medjool dates). I can easily veganise this recipe so will definitely give it a try. The only cake my mum baked (my dad was the cook) was her favourite combination of date and walnut.

  5. Those do look good. I love date slices, but I don't think I've ever made them... yet. And if they're really that quick to make, your recipe might just be perfect!

  6. Gosh I remember those days well when orange juice, wholemeal bread and the like were only to be found in the health food shop.

  7. I used to make something like these from the Cranks cookbook but haven't done them for years. Need to remedy that as I remember them as being fabulous.


Post a Comment