Healthy chocolate, healthy dates, healthy nuts whirled together make for a fabulous healthy candy. As a little girl growing up in America with a Syrian mom, we ate many unusual sweets I never saw at my friend’s homes. Dates, apricots, lots of honey and nuts whirled together with dates made for the best darn desserts. Now, America is hooked on healthy sweets and there is nothing sweeter than dried dates!
Dates As Sugar
Dates are not low in calories, but are high in all the healthy good stuff; fiber, iron, potassium, B6 and antioxidants. White sugar, can you say that? Nope! Not one drop of anything good, you naughty temptress! For this reason alone, dates make for a healthy candy!
Dates can be added to numerous recipes for a taste of sweet. Dates can be made into a paste simply by tossing a handful into the food processor (pitted, of course), and pureed to a thick, sweet paste. Dates can be made into a syrup simply by soaking them in a little water, then puree into a lovely caramel flavored sweet syrup.
Healthy Date Foods
While the collection of recipes I love that incorporate dates is endless, I will share just a few with you here:
Raw Cacao Chocolate
If you’ve ever tasted raw cacao, the roasted, ground powder made from the tropical cacao bean (think of something similar to coffee bean process), you will know it has a dark, rich earthy yet bitter flavor.
Chocolate is made from the raw cacao bean, with lots and lots of processed sugar and oils. Why have an over processed, no longer healthy chocolate treat when you can make the best healthy chocolate treat you’ve ever had, simply by combining dates and raw cacao together! A healthy delicious treat if ever there was one!
Nuts Instead Of Flour
So… You’ve got this beautiful chocolate paste made from dates and raw cacao, but now we want to add some substance to this healthy decadent tasting candy. Grind any nut of your choice in the food processor and you’ve got flour. Use nut flour in any candy recipe instead of grain flour and already you have a healthy sweet treat!
Healthy candy was always something we had in our home when I was a young girl. Middle Eastern sweets were always made from dates, nuts or honey and sometimes drizzled with chocolate. Cakes and pies were not something I had often as a girl because pastries with healthy sweets were always the candy we had in our home.
Healthy Chocolate Date Nut Candy
I can promise you that once you’ve tasted this scrumptious healthy candy, you will not have the desire for many other unhealthy types of sweet treats! Dates are healthy. Nuts are healthy. Raw cacao chocolate is healthy. Put them all together and you’ve got the best darn healthy candy you’ve ever tasted!
If you want to play around with the flavor of this recipe, you can add spices such as cinnamon, cloves or cardamom for an exotic twist on the taste. If you want to be really naughty with the flavor, add a splash of rum or a flavored liquor to this healthy candy recipe and you won’t believe how scrumptious it is.
Make the date and nut candy into balls and roll the balls in ground nuts, shredded coconut or dip them in melted chocolate for a beautiful festive candy platter. Press cookie cutter shapes out of the paste after if firms up in the fridge and the possibilities are endless.
How to make Chocolate Date Nut Candy
Medjool dates are, in my opinion, the best dates to use because they are soft and easier to eat. Remove the pits, which pop out easily, before tossing into a food processor.
Add the nuts to the dates in the food processor and pulse for a minute. Then add the raw cacao and any spices or added flavors, then let the food processor run for another 4 minutes. It may look like it isn’t going to come together, but suddenly it forms one big ball and is ready to shape or form as you would like.
If you want to make cookie cut shape candy, roll the ball into a fat log, wrap in paper or plastic and chill for an hour. The log can then be sliced and pressed into shapes. Otherwise simply roll small balls from the large ball.
Garnishing the healthy candy at this point it up to you. You can sprinkle more crushed nuts, freeze dried raspberries, blueberries or strawberries, or shredded coconut for color and texture or you can dip the candy into a little melted chocolate.
- Pitted Dates
- Nuts – of choice
- Chocolate – for dipping (optional)
- Coconut Flakes – (optional)
- Food processor
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Parchment paper
- Cookie cutter – optional
CHOCOLATE DATE HEARTSCourse: DessertCuisine: Mediterranean
Healthy chocolate, healthy dates, healthy nuts whirled together make for a healthy candy.
Dates – 2 cups, pitted and chopped
Nuts – 2 cups, any nut you like
Cocoa – 3 tablespoons
Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
Chocolate for dipping – 1/2 cup, melted
Coconut flakes or Crushed nuts – 1/2 cup, optional
- Place the dates, nuts, cocoa and salt in a food processor and blend for 5 minutes to form a paste, or ball.
- Roll into little balls, then roll in crushed nuts or coconut, or dip one end into melted chocolate, set on a tray and allow to harden.
- Or transfer to a sheet of parchment paper, roll into a log thick enough to accommodate a cookie press, should you desire to press shapes and chill for an hour. Slice and press, sprinkle with coconut or nuts or dip one end into chocolate, set on a tray and allow melted chocolate to harden.
- Adding a little booze to the date, nut and raw cacao paste makes for a variety of very adult flavors but take care to only add a tablespoon at a time so the paste does not thin out too much.