I recently read some amazing health benefits from incorporating dates into your diet, especially for pregnant women like myself. I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate a date! I’m not sure about you, but it’s not usually an item on my grocery list. So, I thought, why not try some date recipes that you think you’ll enjoy. WOAH – I was totally underestimating what these sweet, little fruits can do!
Before we begin, I just wanted to share some of the many health benefits of dates that I stumbled upon. Dates are/may:
High in disease-fighting antioxidants
High in fibre
Promote bone health
Control your blood sugar
Natural energy booster
Great for relieving constipation
Promote Natural Labor*
Notice the (*) next to that last health benefit. Expecting momma’s, listen up! I was recently reading my favorite pregnancy book and it discussed some of the health benefits of dates as well. The author, Lori Bregman, discussed a study compared women who incorporated dates into their diet during pregnancy, and those who did not. It noted that out of the women who incorporated dates into their diet were more dilated when labor began, went into labor naturally without medication, and experienced 7 less hours of labor (on average) than those who did not.
I’m not sure about you, but for me, that’s a good enough reason in itself to incorporate dates into my diet!
Pregnant or not, dates are excellent for you! There are so many delicious ways you can add dates into your diet. They’re great for adding into smoothies, wrapping with turkey bacon, or using as a substitute when baking sweets such as muffins, brownies or cakes!
Now, let’s get to this amazing Healthy Date Fudge recipe!
1 Cup pitted dates; soaked in warm water
2 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 Cup melted ghee or almond butter (I used soy butter)
1/2 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)
Nuts, chocolate, coconut for topping (optional)
Soak the pitted dates in a warm water bath for about 30 minutes, this will soften the dates and make them easier to blend. Gradually add the dates and coconut oil into a food processor (a blender works just fine) and blend until smooth. I added a splash of the water they were soaking in as well to keep some of the nutrients.
Melt the ghee or butter and add this to the food processor (or blender) as well. Add the vanilla extract and cocoa powder and blend until smooth and creamy. Feel free to taste test this batter, it’s simply amazing!
Grease a small pan or line with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the pan. Feel free to top the fudge bars with your favorite nuts or chocolate!
Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until hard. Store the fudge in the fridge to keep its firmness. Cut into small squares and enjoy!