I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately calling for dates in ‘healthy’ dessert recipes. But I wondered, how can what looks like a large wrinkled prune be a substitute for the real deal processed sugar that makes everything else taste so good AND be healthy? So I found a quick recipe on Instagram, bought a large pack of medjool dates from Trader Joe’s, and made dark chocolate date bars to see for myself.
Much to my surprise, they were actually delicious.
I’ve tried my fair share of healthy dessert recipes that have resulted in disappointment. Desserts are supposed to be indulgent and rich and you know they’re bad for you. But this recipe is both indulgent and rich and you don’t feel nearly as guilty for it after. It’s safe to say dates are now a staple in my fridge (they keep longer in there, by the way).
Let me clarify one thing first before we continue: this recipe was pretty pricey. Unless you’ve got nut butter and dates in your pantry already, both ingredients are hard to find under $7 a piece. The final result is well worth the purchase, but it’s not a dessert I can see myself making on a regular basis.
I recommend using either a food processor or another high powered blender to blend the dates and nut butter together. I recently purchased a Ninja food processor and am obsessed with it. It’s obviously not a cheap kitchen accessory to have, but if you often find yourself making your own sauces or need to blend ingredients, treat yourself to one of these.
After you’ve blended the butter and dates, spread the mixture into a baking loaf pan and pop in the freezer for about an hour. The mixture needs a good amount of time to solidify. Then take a cup of peanuts, or any nut variety you like, and crush them on top. Once that’s finished, melt the dark chocolate bar and spread an even layer on top. Put the finished bars back into the freezer for another hour.
The recipe makes about nine bars, depending on the size of your cuts. I kept mine in the freezer entirely so they kept their shape and consistency.
- Spray a baking loaf pan with cooking spray or line with butter.
- Toss the dates and nut butter of your choice into a blender and blend until an even texture is formed. Use 2 tbsp. or so of water to loosen the ingredients up a bit. The end mixture won’t be thick or thin, but right in the middle.
- Spread the mixture into the baking loaf pan and spread evenly. The layer will be fairly thin.
- Put the mixture into the freezer for an hour.
- Take the mixture out and crush up the peanuts and sprinkle all over the top.
- Melt the dark chocolate and spread evenly.
- Put the bars back into the freezer for another hour.
- Take the bars out and cut into even squares, or as big as you like. Keep the bars in the freezer the rest of the time.
- 3 cups medjool dates without pits
- 1 cup almond butter or nut butter of your choice
- 1 dark chocolate bar, melted
- 1 cup crushed peanuts
- 2 tbsp. water
Let me know your favorite healthy or regular dessert recipes. I’ve got a huge sweet tooth and am always looking for a quick way to satisfy that lady. Hope you enjoy!