Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dates: Nature's Candies

I love dates. Not the dinner and a movie kind, but the ones that slightly resemble insects.

I've totally turned you off to dates now. But really, they're awesome despite their bug-like appearance. Okay, the last time I refer to them like that, I promise. 

I've talked about the benefits of dates before. But just for ha-ha's, here is my spiel again. Dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates, contain no cholesterol, are high in fiber, and boast a wide range of nutrients. They aid in digestion and help to regulate blood sugar levels. They also make an excellent all natural sweetener. 

I pretty much covet any recipes that use dates as its sweetener. Luckily, all of the crunchy, granola-munching blogs I obsess follow provide me with plenty of options. 

In constant pursuit of the perfect snack to bring with me to Yoga Teacher Training, these Peppermint Patty Bars on Oh She Glows have been begging to get in my belly! After a recent trip to BJ's and the purchase of a 3 lb bag of dates, it was on! 

Peppermint Patty Bars

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: vegetarian sugar-free dates oats nuts
Ingredients (12 small bars)
  • 1 c packed, pitted Medjool dates (approx 12)
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c hemp seed (or protein powder)
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips
1. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, process the pitted dates until chopped and sticky.
3. Add in the rolled oats, cocoa powder, protein powder, salt, peppermint extract, and milk. Process until combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
4. Finally, add in the nuts, and chocolate chips and pulse until combined and sticky. It should be sticky enough to easily make a ball. If it's too dry, add some milk. If it's too wet, add some oats.
5. Add mixture to loaf pan, smushing evenly into the pan.
6. Freeze for about 15 minutes or until set. Slice into 6 rows and then slice rows in half to make 12 small bars.
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