Dates are one of those foods that I didn’t grow up eating at all. It’s not something that was around me as a child and I didn’t even try them until I was a grown-up. Honestly, I didn’t really like them at all. I remember just thinking “what a weird sweet and sticky food!” and they were just not for me. My husband loves them though so I thought that maybe if I tried to mix them with something they would be a bit more appetizing.
You’ve probably tried dates on their own and not really liked them and you’ve probably had them in other things without realizing they’re there! Things like healthy protein-type bars, some energy balls or bars, baked goods, and even some savoury meals. I think that you probably didn’t mind eating them that way because if you’re not used to having dates it’s actually pretty easy to hide them in other foods – I personally think the most difficult thing to get used to is their texture.
So here’s the best way that I’ve found works for me to eat dates – I love them as snacks, they’re super filling and they hit the spot with sweetness that’s not too sweet, but also a bit of saltiness that is just such a great balance! If you don’t particularly like dates give these a try – and if you’re already a date lover, this may be another great way to enjoy them!
First things first:
- Make sure your nut butter of choice is nicely mixed – particularly if you’re using a natural one it’s completely normal that the oils separate from the rest of the butter. Just give it a good mix and it’ll be good to go!
- Chop up your chocolate so that it’s easily mixable throughout.
- Dates – I like to use Medjool dates that have the seed inside. I find them to be the freshest-feeling and plumpest dates that just work best here.
- Nut butter – I like these with crunchy almond butter but any kind of nut or seed butter that you enjoy eating will work!
- Chocolate chips or regular eating chocolate that you like. I prefer it dark (70%). Make sure that they’re cut into small pieces!
- Chunky / flaky sea salt
- Optional: Hemp seed hearts
Note: I can’t really give you exact measurements here because every date is different so the amount of mixture that you’ll need will be different depending on your dates. It’ll also depend on how much you like to stuff them. On this day I made a total of a dozen dates and used about 100g of almond butter, and a tbsp of chocolate chips and hemp seed hearts.
What to do:
- Mix all your stuffing ingredients together until they form a paste – your nut butter, chocolate chips, and hemp seed hearts
- Remove the seeds from your dates and make them into little boats – do this by cutting half of the date lengthwise and remove the seed that’s inside
- Once all your dates are de-seeded and ready to go, use a teaspoon to stuff them with your mixture
- Sprinkle some chunky sea salt over the top (as much or as little as you want but please don’t skip this step!)
And voilà! A quick little snack that’s both sweet and salty and a lot more filling than you may realize!
- They’re ready to be eaten just like this but they’re even better if you put them in the fridge to cool down and set up a bit. That way they also keep their shape a bit better.
- You can also freeze them by putting them on a plate or tray and putting them in the freezer until they’re solid. Then transfer onto an airtight baggie and they’ll last for a long time – all ready for when you need a quick snack!
- You can play around a bit with what else you can add – maybe try some chia seeds or any other seeds, try some chopped up nuts if your nut butter is smooth, or even mix some protein powder with your mixture!
I hope you enjoy this little recipe and that you give it a try – it’s really helped me like dates a bit more and their texture doesn’t bother me at all when I eat them like this! I hope you like it and that you’ll stick around for my next recipe!