Seems like when I talk to people about dates, they either love em’ or hate em’. More often than not, I get the scrunched up face look when I talk about dates. I was a hater when my cousin tried to convince me otherwise. She swore that dates were good in her various concoctions…
…and I scrunched my face and balked. But one beautiful Saturday afternoon, I tried a delectable snack my cousin prepared, similar to these double chocolate date bites. I was converted.
Perhaps it was fear of more fiber, like after you’ve changed to a plant based diet and begin integrating liberal amounts of beans and greens into your diet. What is that going on in my bowels??!
Nevertheless, I overcame my concern of bloat, and my body adjusted to eating copious amounts of fiber. So I headed her advise and started incorporating natures candy into my repertoire. Now I see dates with wanting eyes and a smile… no more scrunchy face.
You’re going to love these date bites. Really. Even if you’re a bit squeamish, just do it! They are quick and easy, heart healthy and did I say SWEET? They accomplish two things; satisfy your sweet tooth AND chocolate cravings.
You can’t eat just one either. I found that they are actually tastier if you can wait a day or two before eating them.
Dates are power houses of nutrition because they are packed full of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins. Also because they are high in vitamin K and A, they protect the eyes and help keep skin healthy.
But dates are not the only superfood in this delicious recipe. There is also coconut oil, cacao and walnuts.
Cacao is a raw superfood that is truly amazing. It is different from baking coco powder in that it is far less processed and retains more nutrients than the baking variety. It has nearly four times the antioxidant power of dark chocolate which is more than 20 times that of blueberries. Essential fatty acids, protein and calcium, among many other nutrients are also present. Eat your chocolate.
Double Chocolate Date Bites
Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment. Clip the sides down if needed. Set aside.
In a food processor add the walnuts. Pulse until walnuts are roughly chopped. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Add the pitted dates, cacao, almond meal, and vanilla beans to the food processor bowl. Pulse 10 times. Then, with the machine running, add the coconut oil. Switch to pulse until all the ingredients are of uniform texture and hold together. Dump ingredients into a clean bowl and add the chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips. Using your hands, incorporate all the ingredients until the dough is uniformly mixed.
Place mixture into lined 8x8 baking pan. Use your hands and/or the bottom of a measuring scoop to spread date mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Make sure to press the mixture into the corners.
Place the double chocolate date mixture into the freezer for about 45 minutes. Once out of the freezer, remove the mixture from the pan. Trim the edges as needed so that there are no jagged edges. Use a ruler to measure out 1"x1" bite size pieces. Use a chef's knife to score the date mixture if you need to, then cut. As date mixture warms up it will become sticker and more difficult to work with. If needed, just pop it back in the freezer for 10 minutes so it'll be easier to cut.
Store the date bites in a covered container, in the refrigerator between parchment or wax paper for up to two weeks. Freeze for longer storage.
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