Whilst it is best to avoid overly sweet foods as much as possible, having some sweet treats occasionally can stop us turning to the less healthy kind as knee jerk reactions when stress hits. Sweet snacks that support rather than upset blood sugar balance can provide energy that helps prevent cravings later. If we can stuff them full of ingredients that support energy metabolism, brain function and stress coping, all the better. Here, sweet dates are mixed with nuts that are packed with protein, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and omega oils that slow down blood sugar release into the bloodstream, satisfy appetite and support neurotransmitter production and hormone balance.
This recipe is making good use of my lovely new food processor. It’s nothing fancy, just a good Philips, but it is making short work of snack balls! The trick is just keep blending until the consistency is really smooth.
Here is a basic recipe and then you can experiment with any addition you fancy.
These basic ratio works well for me, but if you’re adding in other sweet or liquid ingredients (such as other dried fruit or fresh berries) reduce the dates to keep about 50:50 ratio to nuts. You can always add more of each if the mixture seems too wet or too dry. If it seems a bit soggy, they will also firm up if left in the fridge for a few hours.
- 100g dates
- 100g Brazil nuts
To roll in for the outside taste and texture
Sprinkle a layer of any of these (or a mix) in a shallow bowl or tray, spoon out your mixture, roll into balls in your hands and then roll in your chosen coating:
- Desiccated coconut
- Cocoa powder
- Sesame seeds
- Try using different nuts
- Try adding extras such as protein powders, green powders, cocoa powder or Matcha powder into the recipe
- Fresh raspberries or other berries can work well
- Dried apricots are a good date substitute but are drier, so you can use half of each, but choose unsulphured where possible to avoid the preservative sulphur dioxide that can upset digestion
- Cocoa nibs or chia seeds add a crunchy texture
- Coconut oil can be added as a way to consume these beneficial fats
It is difficult to go awry. These are great experiments to eat in lieu of sweeter snacks. Dates are medium GI (slow sugar release), mineral and antioxidant rich. They also have lots of gut-supportive soluble fibre – see more about their fantastic health benefits in the article Dates – the perfect sweet treat.