These started out as a fun option for a healthy dessert, and quickly transformed into a recipe that can pretty much be enjoyed at any time by anyone. My 3-year-old decided that she absolutely loved them and now requests them for snacks at home and in her lunch at school– the fact that I called them “date candies” to her might have something to do with it! In some ways they really are like candy, and the only candy I would allow to walk though our doors! I can get behind baked goods, or the occasional bowl of Soy Creamy, but “traditional” candy… I just can’t.
Try them out and let me know what you think!
- 15-20 dates
- ¾ cup walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon thyme- fresh or dried*
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Himalayan salt-sprinkle to taste
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup + some to drizzle*
- ¼ cup water- use water you soaked the walnuts in
- Soak dates overnight, or for 1 hour in very hot water.
- Put walnuts in food processor with hemp seeds, cinnamon, thyme, vanilla, salt and water.
- Pulse until ingredients are broken down/ thoroughly combined. (I prefer my filling to remain slightly chunky- similar to the consistency of a creamy but chunky peanut butter.)
- Slice dates length wise, remove pit and replace with a small spoonful of walnut filling.
- Plate dates, and serve!
* Once dates are on plate and ready to serve, you can top them off with a drizzle of maple syrup, light sprinkle of Himalayan salt and extra hemp seeds. Or any combination of the above... depending on your desired look and taste! I did all three and it was delicious and pretty.
Did you know dates have a TON of health benefits?! A few that I feel are essential in our household are their connection with bone health and strength ( Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, all of which are integral to healthy bone development and strength). They are also rich in potassium, which studies have shown helps to reduce heart related diseases. Potassium works with the body to naturally lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), which lowers your risk for heart attack and stroke. Dates contain glucose, sucrose and fructose, all natural forms of “sugar” that provide a boost of immediate natural energy for a good afternoon pick me up. These are just a few of the many great things about dates. With that said, they are a high caloric food… so I don’t think eating them all day every day is great. But in place of other “sweet” things and consumed in moderation with well balanced diet, dates will absolutely add to the health and well being of your household. More on health benefits of dates here.