“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stuffed Medjool Dates

I can always tell when a full moon is coming by the arrival of my sweet tooth! It never fails and as much as I’m tempted during these times to throw caution to the wind, I try to satisfy my craving with something that has some nutritional value. Enter Medjool dates. They are probably one of my favorite sweet treats. Yes, they’re high in sugar and calories. One large date has about 66 calories and 16g of sugar. However, they are also a source of fiber, vitamin B6 and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and manganese. By themselves they are rich, gooey, and sweet and I often do them the honor of eating them “as is”. However, I recently transformed them into a delicious confection loaded with good fats, minerals, and protein. The result looks, feels, and tastes like something we shouldn’t be eating, but on the contrary, they’ll do far more for you than just satisfy your sweet tooth. Careful, though, these should be treated like any other decadent confection. One or two make a perfect dessert and you’ll be content after that. Mom might even like these for Mother's Day! : )

Stuffed Dates

10-12 large Medjool dates

¼ c almond or cashew butter

1 T unsweetened cocoa powder

1 T shredded unsweetened coconut

1 t ground flax seed

1-2 T pure maple syrup

¼ t cinnamon

2 oz. dark chocolate, optonal (I used 90% cocoa content)

1 t coconut oil, optional

sea salt

Open and remove the pits from the dates by cutting longitudinally down one side. Set the dates aside. In a small bowl, combine the nut butter, cocoa powder, coconut, flax seed, maple syrup, and cinnamon. The mixture will have the consistency of a thick dough. If it’s too sticky to work with, chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes or more. Divide the dough into 10-12 portions and form each into a small log shape. Press one log into one side of each opened date then close the other side over the filling and press gently to seal. Arrange the dates on a plate. Melt the dark chocolate with the coconut oil in a small bowl over hot water, taking care not to over heat the mixture (once the bowl is hot, the chocolate will continue to melt when taken off the heat). Drizzle the chocolate over the dates or dip one end into the chocolate. If dipping, cool on parchment paper. Sprinkle with additional coconut and sea salt. Store uneaten dates in the fridge, if they make it that far!!

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