When you look at all the energy bars in the packages at the grocery store they have a novel on the back to let you know what the ingredients are. Most of them are numerous and fancy ways to say SUGAR. And processed sugar at that.
Dates, on the other hand, are naturally sweet and are packed with vital minerals and vitamins. They are easily digested and your body can make full use of the nutrients provided within this little fruit. According to Dr. Mercola:
“Dietary fiber in dates helps to move waste smoothly through your colon and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol absorption by binding with substances containing cancer-causing chemicals. The iron content, a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, determines the balance of oxygen in the blood. Potassium, an electrolyte, helps control your heart rate and blood pressure. B-vitamins contained in dates, such as the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, absorb into the retina to maintain optimal light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration.
Want more? They contain vitamins A and K. Vitamin A protects the eyes, maintains healthy skin and mucus membranes, and even protects the lungs and mouth from developing cancer. Tannins, which are flavonoids as well as polyphenolic antioxidants, fight infection and inflammation and help prevent excessive bleeding (anti-hemorrhagic). Vitamin K is a blood coagulant that also helps metabolize your bones.
Copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin are also present in dates and provide their own unique preventive and healing functions.
Together, these cofactors help your body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eating dates in moderation can contribute to many health benefits, such as protecting against damage to cells from free radicals, helping preventing a stroke, coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.”
That’s pretty amazing for a little tasty snack, right? 🙂
8-10 pitted dates
1/2 cup cashews
handful of chocolate chips or cacao nibs (I use Enjoy Life brand when using chocolate chips because they are dairy/soy/nut free)**
- In a food processor add the dates and cashews and blend until a sticky dough forms.
- Put dough into a bowl and work in the chocolate chips.
- Press out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut bars with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Place each bar on a piece of wax paper because they are slightly sticky.
- I store mine in the fridge to help them hold their shape better.
** Chocolate chips are optional, as they are plenty sweet without them.
** Optional add-in ideas: coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, chia seeds
** You could easily substitute the cashews for either almonds or peanut