Dates are a rich source of fiber, and are quite high in potassium, magnesium and manganese. They are also an excellent source for vitamin B6, providing about 24 percent of the daily value for each ½ cup! The natural sugar in dates provides quick energy after a workout, or first thing in the morning.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a saucepan on low heat, simmer dried fruits and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water is absorbed. Stir in vanilla, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar and baking soda.
Cut in margarine or butter until crumbly.
Place half of flour mixture in an ungreased 9 X 13-inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
Spoon fruit mixture overtop, smoothing out with a spatula.
Distribute remaining flour mixture on top and pat gently.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.