Have you ever used Medjool dates to sweeten your cereals or smoothies? I use Medjool dates as a sweet treat, either on their own or paired with walnuts … heavenly!
These very large dates are native to the Middle East and North Africa. They’re the first ever cultivated fruit and their cultivation dates back some 6000 years. Historically, they were known as “the king of fruits” or “the fruit of kings”, however nowadays they’re widely available all year round.
Medjool dates are soft, chewy and juicy. There’s a hint of caramel in their taste (without the added sugar). These dates are sweeter than the regular Deglet Noor dates which are smaller, firmer in texture and have a delicate taste when compared to the full, rich taste of the Medjools.
Nutritional benefits of Medjool dates
Medjool dates are rich in vitamins and minerals. They contain 50% more potassium than bananas. Both Medjools as well as Deglet Noors are good sources of selenium (helps anti-aging process in the body), copper (together with iron enables the body to form red blood cells), potassium (helps lower blood pressure) and magnesium (supports healthy immune system). Dates also contain vitamins B3 and B6 and are rich in fibre.
Today I thought I’d share with you this recipe inspired by Dr Axe. I used it for the last session of my cooking instruction programme and it was very well received. Dr Axe’s original recipe calls for hemp seeds. I replaced them with chia seeds, simply because hemps were not available. The result was great!
This recipe is so quick and easy to make. It's the ideal recipe to involve children help in the kitchen.
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Process pecans in food processor until ground.
Add roughly chopped dates and process further until mixture is sticky and binds.
Add the chia seeds, coconut flakes and the vanilla extract. Pulse process for a few seconds.
Roll mixture into small balls and refrigerate for an hour until firm.
(pulse processing does not break the coconut flakes completely and the white bits of coconut contrast nicely with the dark brown colour of the dates)
Makes 40 small coconut balls.
I used these balls as a sweet treat after supper on the terrace. They can also be used as a snack.
My thanks go to: