Sweet Valentine’s Dates
by Andrew Adorno, DTR
Have you been looking for a sweet date this Valentine’s season? Although this may seem like a difficult feat in the month of February, it is actually just as easy as making a trip to your favorite health food store. No – I’m not suggesting pacing up and down the aisles in search for your next potential romance – I’m actually referring to a type of super decadent fruit!
Dates are a type of flowering plant that have been a food and healing source for thousands of years. Packed with a myriad of nutrients – vitamins A, B and K, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, antioxidants, choline, and soluble fiber – dates are a nutrient-dense treat that won’t steer you off track from achieving your health goals.
Dates are extremely versatile, and they can be a great staple in your household pantry. Whether it be for breakfast, pre-workout, post-workout, dessert, or even a mid-afternoon snack, dates contribute quick + high quality energy to aid in fueling you throughout the day.
If you are in search of a guilt-free treat for you, your loved ones, or your newest romantic conquest you met at the health food store – try thinking of incorporating dates into the mix!
Snickers Stuffed Dates – Raw Vegan + Gluten Free
Makes 8 stuffed dates
This recipe puts a nutrient-dense twist to a Snickers bar. The “caramel” filling has heart-healthy fats coming from pecans and almond butter + the chocolate sauce uses a raw vegan protein powder that packs in extra protein to help you stay satisfied. It is great as a “date night” treat, or as an hors d’oeuvre for a gathering with family and friends!
8 whole dates, pitted
1/4 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon natural almond or peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
Protein Chocolate Sauce
1/4 cup dates, pitted
1 scoop Garden of Life Raw Vegan Protein Powder – Chocolate cacao
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/4 cup water
Slice whole dates down the middle and remove the pits – make sure to slice the tops only and leave the bottom halves of the dates connected. Set Aside.
Combine 1/4 cup pitted dates, pecans, almond butter, vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons water into a food processor. Blend until thick, and add more water if needed. Empty the contents of food processor, and spoon the caramel filling into the sliced dates.
Place remaining ingredients – 1/4 cup pitted dates, protein powder, cocoa powder, and water – into food processor and process until the chocolate topping has a syrup-like consistency, add water as needed. Pour chocolate sauce over the stuffed dates, and add crumbled pecans as a garnish!
Per serving: 130 calories, 4g fat, 0 saturated fat, 1mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 19g sugar, 4g protein
Andrew Adorno is a Dietetic Technician, Registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics