My indulgence of dates has increased immensely over the past 6 months. Whether I eat them on their own or create new and exciting recipes with them, they are becoming one of my favourite ‘go to’ snacks and desserts. Before I adapted a whole foods and plant based lifestyle, I had a huge sweet tooth. Even though I didn’t consume a lot of sweets, I still thoroughly enjoyed them whenever I could. Eating Medjool dates not only satisfies my sweet tooth but they are packed with nutrients. Unlike your typical fruit that is mainly comprised of water, dates actually have very little water and are very high in sugar (even though they are natural sugars). They do however provide me with tons of energy and they are perfect if I have a sugar craving or need a quick dose of energy. I think of them as a quick shot of glucose if I need some instant energy when I’m running.
This fruit is rich in flavour but Medjool dates are higher in calories than most fruits. However, they are a fat-free food making them an excellent choice as an alternative to high-fast desserts. So here’s the breakdown of nutrients and why dates make such a great alternative to high-fat desserts.
-they are high in dietary fiber which helps regulate digestion
-potassium to help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure
-copper which helps maintain proper brain and red blood cell function
-manganese plays a role in regulating energy metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar level
-B6, niacin, and pantothenic acid which play a role in red blood cell production, energy metabolism, and the development of skin health
So enough about why they are so good for us, let’s get to trying the delicious recipes. These are all recipes that I created on my own that are made with 4 ingredients or less. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Chocolate Oatmeal Date Balls
I actually created this recipe myself. I find that sometimes dates on their own can be so sweet that I can only eat one or two of them. After working with the ingredients and finally finding something that not only tasted great but it actually stuck together. Use a food processor high speed blender for this recipe. If you can find a date paste, it will cut down on the preparation time significantly. Another tip is to add 1-2 tbsp. of water to the date mixture if it’s too dry. Start with 1 tbsp. of water and keep adding until you like the consistency.
-1 cup of rolled oats
-1 1/4 cup of chopped dates (I use Medjool dates)
-1/4 cup cacao powder
-1-2 tbsp shredded coconut or finely chopped nuts (enough to cover each ball)
- Blend oats into almost a flour in a high speed blender or food processor
- Add chopped dates after chopping them in a high speed blender (I use my Vitamix)
- Add the raw cacao and blend, turn up to full speed using the tamper to help mix if you are using a Vitamix. The mix should look like a paste. If not, you might need to add more dates to the mixture.
- Take the mixture out of the blender or food processor and tear off pieces and roll into small balls. Once done, you can either roll them in coconut or the chopped nuts or both.
- Store in a container in the fridge.
Nutty Date Rolls
If you’re in a hurry and need to throw something together for guests coming over, try these nutty date rolls with only two or three ingredients. Again, if you want to save time, find a date paste to use otherwise you will need a food processor or high speed blender to chop up the dates to make into a paste.
-1 cup Medjool dates or date paste
-1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or coconut -1/4 cup cacao powder
- If using whole Medjool dates, remove the pits and cut up into fine pieces and then place in a vitamix or food processor or you can use date paste.
- Once it becomes paste, remove and add the nuts and or coconut if using. Roll up into a ball until the nuts and coconut are mixed well together.
- Cut up into small pieces and store in a container in the fridge until ready to eat.
Banana Date Macaroons
I wanted to cut down on the sweetness of the dates so I tried incorporating some fruit with this. Bananas seemed to be the best fruit that worked with this recipe. The third ingredient in this dessert is coconut. The dates are already sweet enough so make sure that you buy unsweetened coconut.
-8 Medjool dates
-1 ½ cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
- Remove the pits from Medjool dates and cut up into small pieces or use date paste.
- Place all ingredients into a high speed blender or a food processor until a paste is created.
- Add the banana and coconut until the desired consistency is created. The mixture should be moist, not gooey.
- Bake at 325 degrees 10-15 minutes, until done. Cookies will be soft, but should cook enough to have a golden brown bottom and hold together well.
Eat clean & live green!
Your Compassionate Coach,