My husband and I do endeavor to rely more on natural sugars in our food. The house has its share of raw honey and maple syrup bottles and the usual suspects of fruit from bananas to berries to stoned fruit from which we derive most of the “added sugar” in our foods. And I should not leave out dried fruit that mostly includes raisins, cranberries, dates and apricots without which our porridge bowls or homemade granola mix wouldn’t be the same. This is all but at home.
Outside home – that is another story to be told. It is a shame staying close to the funky Penny University café and the organic grocer/café, “Oh Deli” results in ordering slices of irresistible cakes while downing a cup of long black. Then there is ice cream – Who does not enjoy a cone of good old quality, fuss-free chocolate or vanilla ice-cream? Or a pistachio gelato in its purest form? I understand it is all about moderation and balancing good food with exercise. And it is okay to have a dessert outside once in a while. However seems like the once in a while turns out “too many times a week” for us 🙂
Keeping all the above in mind we have started to be more watchful of the next spoon of sugar going in and fingers crossed it went pretty okay the last week. So knock on wood for me so it continues this way now, will you? Thus in an effort to stack up healthier sweet treats at home, this classic date and nut roll was created. This perhaps originates back to the medieval times when chopped nuts, dates, figs and apricots were minced together to create the original “sweat meats” served in feasts or holiday fanfare. These days there is an Indian mithai created in a very similar manner where wet dates and figs are minced to form a sticky paste. Chopped nuts like almonds, cashews and pistachios are folded in it which is then rolled in edible silver before serving. Not surprisingly seems like something similar exits in the “healthy energy bar” market in the United States in the form of “Lärabars” as well.
This is a quick and fuss-free sweat treat to enjoy after a meal. It is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free with all natural sugars in it. I used a mince of Medjool dates only but mixing it with dried figs should be good if you want to do so. Although I have not tried it, rolling in raw cacao or good quality melted chocolate should be a good treat for chocolate lovers. And play around with spices like cardamom, cinnamon and grated nutmeg which will give the flavors a new twist.
250 grams Medjool dates pitted
Fistful of roughly chopped hazel nuts
Fistful of roughly chopped almonds
Fistful of roughly chopped pistachios
Grated coconut for rolling( optional)
Method of Preparation:
1) Mash the dates with a fork in a bowl.
2) Fold in the chopped nuts in the dates mash.
3) Roll the mash over a surface with grated coconut to form a log.
4) Wrap in cling foil and freeze overnight. *
5) Before serving roll in some more grated coconut and cut thin round slices using a sharp knife
*Although the dates are kept in the freezer, they don’t become frozen. The cold temperature helps to bind everything together. This keeps well wrapped in the freezer for few weeks.