Chocolate Covered Dates
Delicious and nutritious snacks are always needed, but often lacking. When I look around on the street, I notice many people eating a chocolate bar from the supermarket, a bag of crisps, a can of salted peanuts or sweet pastry from the bakery. But people, where are the apples, the handful of nuts, the dried fruits like prunes or figs or dates? Such foods are so easily accessible and they make such a great, satisfying snack! Especially if they are combined with smooth peanut butter or homemade chocolate, as will be the case for the recipe you are about to be introduced to. But first, let’s learn something about these dates, shall we?
everyone loves dating
Dates are my absolute favourite item in the pantry! I enjoy their creamy texture, their caramelly aroma, their sweet taste and what I love the most is that fortunately, they happen to be good for me! They grow on date palm trees in Northern Africa, the Middle East and South Asia and provide us with a broad variety of essential nutrients. Not only are they a good source of dietary potassium, but 20% of a ripe date is made up of fiber, protein and trace elements such as copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc. The remaining 80% of dates are made up of sugar which is why they are relatively high in carbohydrates. We also find a selection of antioxidants in dates, including flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid, which all contribute to preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. While both fresh and dried dates are delicious, they have a different nutritional profile: fresh dates are lower in sugar and higher in vitamin C, but dried dates are higher in fiber, calcium and iron. Most of the dates that we buy in Western countries have already been dried, which is a great way of conserving them. However, if you’ve never tasted a fresh date and are curious to try them, go ahead and buy them in your local Middle Eastern supermarket. Now chop chop, let’s make chocolate to dip our lovely dates into!
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooling Time: 30 min
Total Time: 35 min
Servings: 12 dates (you decide how many servings that makes)
For this recipe you will need:
12 dates, pitted
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut syrup
¼ cup shredded coconut
- Line a plate or a small tray with baking paper and place the dates on it, with about 2cm of free space in between. Make sure that whatever prop you choose fits into your freezer.
- In a small pan, melt the coconut oil and stir in the cocoa until no clumps are left. This process will be really quick because coconut oil already turns soft at room temperature. Once the mixture has softened and turns smooth and creamy, stir in the coconut syrup and vanilla extract.
- With a spoon, carefully drizzle the liquid chocolate over each date and top it up with some shredded coconut. It is no problem if some chocolate bits melt together on the baking paper, you can simply break them up once they’re hardened.
- Place the dates in your freezer for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
- While eating them, do not forget to notice how your homemade chocolate melts in your mouth! Congratulations, this is the first step to becoming a chocolatier. By the way, I can very much recommend to eat these little date-treats with a liiiiiittle bit of your favourite peanut butter. It won’t harm ya, instead it will make your heart and soul happy! ♥