Roughly chop the dates and add to the bowl of a food processor along with the almond flour/meal, desiccated coconut, salt flakes and vanilla extract.
Process until the ingredients are combined as you would like them. I like to leave some texture, but you can blend them to be smooth if you prefer.Check that the mixture is sufficiently moist to be able to firmly flatten into your dish. If not, add a couple more dates or a teaspoon of water and blend again.
Line a dish 20 cm x 20 cm (8 " x 8 ") with cling wrap. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut.
Add the mixture to the dish and, using the back of a spoon or a spatula, firmly flatten and smooth the mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of coconut.
Cover and refrigerate for about one hour to firm up.Cut into bars, the size of your choice. I made 15, approximately 6.5 cm x 4 cm (2.5" x 1.5")Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freeze.
Medjool dates are fresh dates available from greengrocers or the fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket. For accuracy, weigh the dates. (with the stones in.) If measuring by volume, the dates are firmly packed in the cup. The number will vary depending on the size of the date.
Almond meal and almond flour are similar ingredients. I have used almond flour made from blanched almonds. If you prefer, you can use almond meal made from the whole almond. Either will work fine in this recipe.
Desiccated Coconut is finely shredded coconut.
For the best flavour, my preference is to use sea salt flakes.
Use good quality vanilla which has been naturally extracted from vanilla beans, not vanilla which is synthetically flavoured.
The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust the measurement if necessary.
Please note, the nutritional information is based on the slice being cut into 15 pieces. The nutritional information is for one piece, and is an estimate only.