… Well, it’s my birthday too. And as much as I’d like to dive in mouth-first to a great big birthday cake with 3″ of thick sugary buttercream frosting, I’m staying strong. Also, I’m pretty sure that the authors of WHOLE30 would not have a lot of sympathy for me and my birthday cravings. Still, I feel the need for a little treat to celebrate my special day. So I concocted this simple little treat using the following 3 (program approved) ingredients:
1. All natural almond butter (no sugar added)
2. Whole pitted dates, unsulphured+++
3. Unsweetened shredded coconut
The result tastes a bit like a coconut almond cookie or candy. It’s very sweet and very satisfying. You really only need one or two (at most) of these treats to really feel as though you’ve just enjoyed a delicious dessert. Good thing too, because according to WHOLE30 program rules, these kind of sweets should (for the most part) be avoided during the program. I reasoned that these little treats were acceptable this once because 1.) I used all approved ingredients (hopefully, see note below regarding dried fruit). 2.) I was not trying to recreate any specific naughty traditional dessert (e.g. these are NOT paleo pecan pie bars); and 3.) the healthy fat helps to blunt the impact of the sugar in the dates; and 4.) lastly because this type of small indulgence is important for me to remain motivated and enthusiastic about staying the WHOLE30 course.
If you’re interested in recreating my birthday treats, be forewarned, it can get a bit messy. But the results are deliciously worth it! So here’s the process:
1. Stir almond butter so it’s smooth and has a consistent texture.
2. Spoon several Tbsp. of almond butter into a plastic sandwich bag. Try to keep the butter closer to one bottom corner of the bag.
3. Refrigerate the almond butter baggie for at least an hour (this makes it easier to work with).
4. Place about 10 dates on a plate. TIP: Take out a few more than you expect to make. Invariably, a couple of the dates will be smushed and unusable for this recipe.
5. Snip one end of the plastic bag and roll the almond butter portion of the bag into as narrow a cone-like shape as possible.
6. Pipe the almond butter into each date, smoothing out any that leaks out.
7. Gently roll each date in coconut flakes and store in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Thought for the Day:
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
~Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
Read more here.
+++ After posting this recipe, I read about approved and unapproved additives during WHOLE30 as I continued to educate myself on the program. I encourage anyone considering WHOLE30 to begin reading and researching the program rules and to familiarize yourself with the wealth of free info and tools available at the WHOLE30 website. Anyway, the dates I used in this recipe (e.g. Sunsweet brand) do not include sulfites on the ingredients list nor do the manufacturers indicate sulphites included during processing (even on the Sunsweet website because I looked). But neither the bag nor the website states the product is sulphite-free which is a pretty big selling point among dried fruits, so I’m left to wonder. Sulfites are definitely off limits during WHOLE30 so when in doubt, choose a brand that clearly states “unsulphured” or “sulphite-free.”