Dates are a whole food which means that they have vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, micronutrients, fiber and water. All refined sweeteners have none of these beneficial qualities and have been linked to the development of numerous diseases. The date fruit is one of the oldest cultivated tree crops, and has been grown for thousands of years. By using whole dates, it is possible to satisfy your sweet tooth, healthfully and deliciously, without ever using sugar. Even though dates are a high sugar fruit, research shows that they are still the most favorable sweetener, and do not raise blood glucose or triglycerides. One of my favorite ways to us dates in a dessert is with these decadent peanut butter fudge truffle that is easy to make and contains only 5 ingredients. Contributed by Chef Abbie Jaye, from Unprocessed(© 2011).
Makes 1 dozen
Chocolate Fundue (also delicious when made with raw almond butter,
raw sunflower seed butter or tahini):
- 1 cup peanut butter (no salt or sugar) — see Variation
- 1 cup date paste*
- ½ cup raw cacao powder or good quality cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- Chopped peanuts
Place all ingredients except for the nondairy milk and peanuts in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process until ingredients are incorporated, scraping down sides if necessary. Slowly add nondairy milk, a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. You can eat this immediately or chill for a firmer texture.
Chill FUNdue until firm.Using a small retractable cookie scoop, drop FUNdue into crushed peanuts and coat evenly. Bananas are also delicious when dipped in FUNdue and rolled in crushed nuts and then frozen.
Variation: For a lower fat version, substitute one can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans for half of the nut butter.
Make sure you always have some on hand to create a healthy dessert in no time.
Makes about 2 cups
- One pound pitted dates
- One cup liquid (water, unsweetened non-dairy milk, unsweetened fruit juice)
Soak dates in liquid overnight or for several hours until much of the liquid is absorbed. In food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process dates and liquid until completely smooth. Store date paste in the refrigerator.
To learn more about Chef AJ and cooking food without using refined sugars, salts or oils you can visit her website, Chef AJ’s Health Kitchen. Here you can also learn about her other books, DVDs and classes. And to learn more about the book and view videos of AJ’s series “The Chef and the Dietician” go to Eat Unprocessed.