Choco Date Chews

I've never had a sweet tooth but I definitely know they're out there! These bad boys are a perfect whole food alternative for that late night sugar fix or sweet treats for dinner party guests. Hey, why not share the wealth with your sports team at a post-game dinner? So ditch the leftover Halloween candy and try making these!

But first, a few nutrition facts for you..

Dates

This dried fruit tastes like a creamy, caramel chew. It’s sweet in flavor and juicy in texture, as far as dried fruit goes. Dates are an excellent source of fiber, and a good source of potassium, niacin and vitamin B6. Potassium is important for building muscle, regulating the heart and the body’s fluid balance and plays a role in carb breakdown. Vitamin B6 is also important in regards to protein metabolism and muscle growth. There are a few different kinds of dates depending on the season. Try them all and see which you prefer!

Cashews

These are an all time favorite at the Twins Academy! 1oz is equivalent to about 18 cashews and provides 12g of fat (10g of which are unsaturated), 9g of carb and 5g of protein. They’re rich in magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K. As a side note, if you haven’t had cashew butter, you may need to get that on your grocery list!

Almonds + Almond Butter

Can you believe just 1/4c of almonds, or enough to cover the size of your palm provides nearly 50% of your dietary recommended intake of biotin, a B vitamin that plays a key role in sugar and fat metabolism. These nuts are also rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and against numerous diseases including the number one killer in American, heart disease.

Dark Chocolate

Yes, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help prevent damage in your body caused by oxidative stress and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. This however, doesn’t mean you can justify eating a bar a day! In moderation, like these little Choco Date Chews, dark chocolate is a nutritious way to give your sweet tooth a fix.

This form of chocolate contains essential minerals including iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. These are important to form bones and connective tissue, regulate blood sugar, and metabolism and absorb certain nutrients.

Local Honey

For the last several years I’ve had adult onset of…really bad seasonal allergies. I don’t know if that’s a thing but for me it is! A certified allergist confirmed that it was indeed pollen that I’m allergic to. When season hits I take certain precautionary measures but there is one preventative action I take months in advance. Just a 1tsp-1Tbsp of local (within 50 mile radius) honey or pollen pellets a day may help build your immune system against pollen. There is more research needed but it’s natural and I personally am willing to continue to give it a shot.

Raw honey is super nutrient rich and a more natural alternative to sugar. One ounce contains very small amounts of folate, vitamins B2, C, B6, B5 and B3, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. Honey also contains enzymes that can help some people digest food more easily.

Coconut

This plant-based fat is mainly saturated fat, which is fine to consume in moderation such as a sprinkle on top of these chews. Coconut is high in fiber that helps regulate blood sugar and control cholesterol, plus it keeps you fuller longer.

Hemp Hearts

They are basically shelled hemp seeds, cold pressed, raw and the size of a sesame seed. They’re rich in protein, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, iron and vitamin E. You can top the chews with them or add to smoothies, salads, oatmeal, even soup for a hearty nutty flavor.

. INGREDIENTS .

1 bar baking chocolate + ½ bag semi-sweet chocolate chips OR 1 bag dark chocolate chips

20-pitted dates

Filling: Cashews, almond or other nut of choice

Toppings: nut butter, local honey, coconut, hemp hearts

. Directions .

  1. Melt chocolate on low heat, in small pan on stovetop. As chocolate melts, stir occasionally, so it doesn’t burn.

  2. While chocolate is melting, with a pairing knife, slice a slit in the date lengthwise and open the center where the pit would be {if pit is there, remove it.}

  3. Stuff a few nuts in the center of the date, and then close the date covering the nuts entirely.

  4. Drop the stuffed dates into the melted chocolate, and then roll them in the chocolate so they are covered completely.

  5. Individually place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle or pour on toppings then place in freezer until chocolate is hard.

  6. Store in fridge, but they won’t last long! ENJOY!

#dessert #almondbutter #cashew #chocolate #recipe #honey #coconut

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