Have you ever been invited to a dinner party and charged with the task of bringing dessert to one of those groups of people who always seem to be onto the next dietary fad? If not, you probably don’t have any naturopathic friends. If you have been in this situation,forced to peer at food labels, wondering how many words there are for “dairy”, I have a solution for you. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, raw and dairy-free, so it should satisfy everyone. In fact, the list that these things don’t contain is way longer than what they do, which are: coconut. nuts. dates. Unless you’re date-free, you can eat these. And, let’s face it, if you’re date-free you’re probably looking anyways, right? 😉
I was inspired to make these while enjoying a delicious coconut-flavoured Lara Bar for a snack. Who knew that such a small number of natural ingredients could taste so good? I realize that the majority of recipes I post on my blog (as well as natural skin care products) involve coconut in some shape or form. It turns out, I’m obsessed with coconut. It’s my favourite food, favourite oil, favourite water, favourite milk. Even my dog’s name is Coco, after my beloved food (and Coco Chanel’s little dog). And, why shouldn’t I love coconut? It’s delicious, for one. And it’s healthy. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and made up of medium chain triglycerides, which are quickly turned into energy, facilitating fat burning and increasing metabolism. It’s an easy sell.
Coconut Cream Date Squares
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup almonds and mixed nuts (I used pecans, cashews, brasil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts)
15-20 large medjool dates, remove pits (I counted the pits left over, rather than the actual dates, which might not give an accurate number of the dates that actually made it into the recipe… many of these plump dates ended up in my mouth first!)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
In a food processor, mix ingredients until it forms a dough-like consistency. Flatten dough into the bottom of a small, square baking pan or tin. Sprinkle the top with more shredded coconut. Cut into small squares. Leave in freezer for a few minutes (up to 1/2 an hour) so that squares harden. Try to eat just one. These make great fuel for OSCE III study group sessions, especially for notoriously picky, Spleen Qi deficient 3rd year naturopathic students. Good luck next week, class of 2014!