28 Jun, 2010
“Salted Caramels”… With Dates, Sunflower Seeds, Almond Butter (Raw, Vegan, and Low-Sugar)
I just love fresh, jumbo Medjool dates. Not when ground up and mixed into nut balls or energy bars… blech. In fact, I loathe those sorts of things, where the almost-juicy quality of the dates is destroyed by over-processing.
No, dates are best enjoyed whole, where their lovely succulence can be enjoyed full-on. I’ve said more times than I can count that the simple treat of a raw pecan stuffed into a whole date and popped into one’s mouth is like pecan pie, only the way pecan pie wishes it could taste!
Here, I’ve made up a salted vanilla filling for the dates without any additional sugar. All the sweetness comes from the dates themselves. And the overall effect when all is said and done is that of a salted caramel!
The dish is comprised entirely of non-perishables, so you can make this entire batch and keep at your desk at work, or in a container in your gym or dance bag for a quick energy pick-me-up when you need it… and with the added salt, it’s a great way to replenish electrolytes after a good workout! And shoot… I just finished one up as part of a late breakfast.
And forget those “nut balls” that so many raw foodies make with dates (did I say “blech” yet?)… these put those to shame. In my not-so-humble opinion.
Recipe for: “Salted Caramels”
With Dates, Sunflower Seeds, Almond Butter (Raw, Vegan, and Low-Sugar)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3-4 tablespoons raw almond butter
- 1/4 teaspoon quality natural salt, such as Himalayan Crystal salt
- 1/2 teaspoon quality vanilla
- about 20 jumbo medjool dates
In a small food processor, combine all ingredients until the mixture forms a soft “dough” that draws away from the sides of the container. It took me 3 tablespoons of the raw almond butter to achieve this, because my butter is very loose (runny) — if your is stiff, it may take you a bit more to achieve that texture. Your objective is just to have a smoothish filling that will hold a bit of shape when you work with it.
Take a date, pull it open along its length and take the pit out. Then take 1/2 teaspoon or so of the filling and stuff the date with it. You can see from the photos that I add a generous amount. I have found that the creamy sweetness of each date requires a good amount of salted, non-sweet nut filling to balance it out nicely.
Repeat for the rest of the dates.
Store in a covered container to protect from getting squished. No need to refrigerate, tho that’s where I keep mine handy!