recipes and tips for better living

Friday, September 11, 2009

That's Not A Cockroach - It's My Date!

They may look funky - wrinkly, brown, and just kinda gross, but they really are FABULOUS! No, i'm not talking about some freaky chocolate covered insects or bugs, i'm talking about Dates - the fruit. Try to find fresh ones at the store in the refrigerated sections....they are even more FAHHHHBULOUS. And there are so many varieties: from honey, to black, to my favorite- medjool, and the list goes on. These fabulous sweet little roach look-a-likes are HIGH HIGH HIGH in natural sugar - so go easy on the little buggers, however, when you are needing that sugary treat, TREAT yourself and your body to nature's candy.

some FAHHHHB ideas for your date tonight:

slice the sucker open, remove the pit and replace it with and almond OR even more decadent a little dallop of almond butter. mmmmmmmm (who needs a reeses now?)

slice it open - remove the pit - stick that almond in it, and roll it in some shredded coconut (the fresh dates are more moist so the coconut will stick better)

or if you are going to get really adventurous you can make your own snack bars. Now, keep in mind, these will have a fair amount of natural sugar, so slice them down small when you wrap them, and eat them only sparingly when you need that special treat.

Nature's Candy Bars:

2 cups fresh dates (remove the pits)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup plus 1/2 cup raw shredded coconut (divided)
sea salt
cinnamon
optional dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

Directions:

Pulse the walnuts in a food processor and place into a mixing bowl
Add pumpkin seeds to the bowl of walnuts
If you add chocolate chips and they are large (or coin shaped), pulse them quickly in the food processor.
Add the chocolate or cocoa nibs (if you are using) to the mixing bowl of nuts and seeds
Place the pitted dates and raisins in the food processor to make a paste, add a little cinnamon and a dash of salt
Add the date paste to the dry mix along with most of the cup of shredded coconut (reserve some of the coconut in case you do not need it all)
READY TO GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY?
Put a small amount of olive oil on your hands to prevent sticking and combine ingredients, pressing mixture together. You can add extra coconut if the mix seems to wet.
Lay the mixture on a cutting board and form into a shallow square about 3/4 " in height.
Rub a little oil onto your cutting knife and score into small bars.
Pat extra 1/2 cup of coconut flakes onto the outside of the scored bars
wrap with plastic wrap or foil, or place in a glass jar separating layers with wax paper.
Store in the refrigerator

(also see the recipe for 'no fakin' no bakin' blueberry pie' - just another fahhhbulous way to take advantage of your date tonight)
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