I’ve had a sweet tooth on and off the last couple months. I saw these dates in the cupboard and thought they would be perfect to create a natural, sweet treat.
Dates are high in (natural) sugar so you don’t want to eat too many, but as an energy source/pre-workout they do have a lot of nutritional benefit. You can use them as a natural sweetener in baked goods and protein bars or to add to muffins, etc. Here is a breakdown of the good stuff-
Some of the key nutrients found in dates, and is based on a 100g serving of the fruit.
- Fiber – 6.7 grams. 27% RDA.
- Potassium – 696 milligrams. 20% RDA.
- Copper – 0.4 milligrams. 18% RDA.
- Manganese – 0.3 milligrams. 15% RDA.
- Magnesium – 54 milligrams. 14% RDA.
- Vitamin B6 – 0.2 milligrams. 12% RDA.
Their benefits include:
1. Promoting Digestive Health, Relieving Constipation – Fiber is essential for colon health and making for regular bowel movements. There’s lots of insoluble and soluble fiber found in dates, which increase efficiency of the digestive system. Some studies show reduced risks of colitis, colon cancer, and hemorrhoids.
2. Heart Health – In addition to promoting colon health, fiber is also great for your heart.
3. Anti-Inflammatory – Dates are rich in magnesium – a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Based on magnesium’s anti-inflammatory properties and the findings of this study, magnesium can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammation-related health ailments.
4. Reduced Blood Pressure – Magnesium has been linked to helping lower blood pressure – and again, dates are full of the mineral. Also potassium is another mineral in dates that has several functions within the body, aiding with the proper workings of the heart and helps to reduce blood pressure.
5. Reduced Stroke Risk – Researchers have found stroke risk was reduced by 9% for every every 100 milligrams of magnesium a person consumes per day, which dates are rich in.
6. A Healthy Pregnancy and Delivery – One study found that after following 69 women for a year and 1 month, “the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labor significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labor, and produced a more favorable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial.” Totally couldn’t hurt to try!
7. Boosting Brain Health – B6 levels are associated with improved brain performance and better test scores.
So if you have a sweet tooth, these chocolate covered energy bites are a good way to satisfy it-
What you need:
- 6-7 Pitted Dates (I used honey dates, but you could use the huge Medjool dates as well as long as you take the pit out)
- 2 Tbsp Stevia-sweetened Chocolate Chips, or regular (sugar content would be higher)
- 1/2 Tsp Coconut Oil
- Natural peanut butter
- Shredded Coconut Flakes, unsweetened
- Parchment paper covered baking sheet
- Open dates, and fill the inside with natural peanut butter, then close them back up.
2. Melt in microwave-safe dish, 1/2 tsp coconut oil with 2 tbsp of Chocolate Chips, until melted. This took about 1-1.5 minutes, stir frequently.
3. Once melted, roll the peanut-butter dates in the chocolate.
4. Roll dates in coconut.
5. Place the dates on parchment paper baking sheet, and then pop them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. So good!