Stories

Indulge that Sweet Tooth (In a Healthy Way)

Aug 9, 2021
Healthy Eating

I love when a recipe checks a lot of certain boxes:

  • Quick and easy to make 
  • Simple ingredients
  • A hit with the whole family 
  • Satisfying


I love it even more when that kind of recipe indulges my sweet tooth. While I occasionally feel the need to reign in my sweets consumption, a long term goal to eliminate sweets entirely feels neither realistic nor desirable! Instead, I take pleasure in making my own treats, ones that I actually enjoy, and I don’t feel like I’m working against myself. That to me feels like the ultimate win! I’ve posted two of my current favorite sweet treat recipes below.   


Discover the Date

You’ll notice that both recipes call for dates. I’m not sure I had ever eaten a date before I started leaning into plant-based eating. Then, as I explored more recipes, I started seeing them show up more and more in the list of ingredients, especially for dessert recipes. I needed no more convincing to give them a try, so I slowly began my path toward dates becoming a staple in our house. 

Now that I’m years into trying different kinds of dates in a variety of recipes, I’ve landed on a favorite. If you try out one of the recipes below, I encourage you to consider splurging and using Medjool dates. The Medjool is to dates what the tenderloin is to steaks. Yes, there are other, less expensive options, and they will get the job done, but the elevated experience of the tenderloin can’t be denied!  

Why the Medjool? Medjool dates are bigger, softer, and more caramel-like than other varieties of dates. Their softness makes them easier to blend and their sweetness makes them the perfect ingredient for the many dessert recipes in which you’ll find them! Look for them in the produce section among the nuts and other dried fruit.  



Snickers Bites 

(From Will Bulsciewicz on Instagram) 

While the family disagrees on whether or not these actually taste like a Snickers bar, we definitely all agree that we love this satisfying snack!  And the prep could not be more simple.  

Ingredients

  • Medjool dates, pitted & halved
  • Peanut butter
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chocolate chips

Instructions

Fill each Medjool date with just enough peanut butter to fill the cavity, dip in sesame seeds, and top with 3-4 chocolate chips.  



Coconut Caramel Cookies 

(From The Plant Based Athlete by Matt Frazier and Robert Cheeke)

Simple yet so satisfying! | Serves 4


Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup dates
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips


Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.  
  • Spread the coconut over a clean, dry baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as coconut can go from toasty to torched pretty quickly.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet or plate with the coconut oil and set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the coconut with the dates and blend until the mixture comes together.  Form 2 inch balls and arrange them on the pre-greased baking sheet or plate. Flatten them slightly. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Melt the chocolate (30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring until smooth), add in the coconut oil, and mix. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate and let set before turning over and drizzling the remaining chocolate on top. Return the cookies to the freezer or fridge until set. 

These two recipes are so simple, come together so quickly, and are so good! Eating well doesn’t have to mean compromising on taste or enjoyment. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

 


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– Jeanne Torre, MSW, LCSW, NBC-HWC

Health Advisor | Email Jeanne




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