Preheat oven to 325º F.
Add 1 cup of the oatmeal to a food processor, and process into oat flour.
Into the food processor bowl, add the dates, coconut, sea salt and baking soda. Process until the dates are broken up.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of oatmeal and the walnuts, and pulse to break them up, leaving both with some texture.
Add the egg, coconut oil, and flax meal. Pulse these into the dry ingredients to create a cookie base.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cookie base to use as the crumble topping.
Press the rest of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. I like to use baking paper to make these easy to pop out and slice when they are ready.
Make the date caramel by adding the dates, lemon juice, and sea salt to a cleaned food processor bowl. This process will take 5-10 minutes depending on how powerful your processor is.Every minute or so, I use a spatula to scrape the dates back down and press them around the blade. Once the caramel starts to form, it gets easier to continue processing. It will lighten in color as it gets smoother.
Use wet hands to press the caramel layer on top of the cookie layer.
Sprinkle the reserved oatmeal mixture over the top of the date layer to make a crumble topping.
Bake for 18 minutes.
For best results, completely cool before slicing. I like to freeze them before slicing for nicer bars.
These bars are best stored (and enjoyed!) from the freezer, but also hold up well as a travel snack.