I’ve always been the kind of girl who craves something sweet following dinner. However, finding just the right treat to satisfy that urge while providing wholesome and nutritious ingredients is tricky! Most of the sweets that we desire aren’t exactly what we would define as quality nutrition. Challenge accepted! Time to think outside the box a little.
Date fruits are one of my favorite ingredients for a sweet treat. They are very rich and make a delicious base for a recipe. I was surprised to learn that dates grow in bunches, very much like grapes, on trees. They grow on a type of palm tree. Date trees are farmed in a hot, dry, desert environment and are a very complex plant to grow. Date trees require a lot of water at the roots but the upper part of the tree should stay dry. Date fruit is harvested during the hottest time of the summer months, typically in August. This was very interesting to learn!
Nutritionally, dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber. They contain beneficial antioxidants, tannins, which are known to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Dates are rich in potassium as well as vitamin A, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and cooper. Do you know a candy bar that can provide that much nutritional goodness for you?
As you spend time getting to know me through this website, you will find many recipes with dates. They are a perfectly nutritious way to provide that comforting sweetness following dinner or after school snacks for the kids — guilt free snacks!
When we were growing up, my mother would make a type of date ball at Christmas time. Naturally, they were one of our favorite treats. My recipe for Coconut Date Balls differs from mom’s a bit but are more nutritious. I use unsweetened coconut flakes as opposed to the sweetened flakes. There is no need for all that added sugar, dates provide plenty of sweetness. I also add walnuts which is one of my favorite nuts. Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t really have a favorite, I love them all! They are an excellent source of unsaturated fats!
My Coconut Date Balls are not only delicious but also very simple and fast to prepare. It only takes about 20 minutes to whip them up. What a great added bonus for a busy schedule!
I hope you love them as much as we do!