The Best Vegan Date Dessert (Raw, gluten-free)

Last week, my fantastic bagel friend left for the US of A. We had a little celebration dinner in her honor at the vegan monk restaurant where she works. Our other good friend, who is an inspiration for me in many ways (especially in the yoga/health ways) brought the most delicious vegan dessert; raw date balls. They were so beautifully-covered in coconut and when I bit into one I was surprised with the soft, yet crunchy datey-chocolatey inside. I believe my exact words were: “I am so glad I just ordered dates from Seoul, so I can make these all the time!!!” I had to have the recipe. It turns out that the recipe is from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. If you haven’t read the book by the way, get it right now and read it. I modified the recipe quite a lot to suit the ingredients I had at home.

Ingredients:

1 c walnuts

1/2 c dates, soaked for 5 minutes

1/2 c loose cocoa powder (use carob powder to make the balls truly raw)

4 tbsp brown rice syrup (or another liquid sweetener)

1/2 c almonds

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Place the walnuts into a food processor and pulse until fine meal is made.

2. Discard the water from the dates and add the dates to the food processor. Pulse until walnuts and dates are combined.

3. Add the cocoa powder, syrup, salt, and vanilla.

4. When a uniform paste is made add the almonds and pulse until almonds are lightly crushed. You want to have some crunch in the balls.

5. Chill the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.

6. Take out the dough and roll 1 tbsp of dough into a ball. Roll the balls in coconut and place on a plate. Once all the dough has been made into balls, place in the freezer to firm. Store the balls in an air tight container.

You can also shape the dough into rectangles and have bars, but I think balls are easier and more fun.

Dates are full of vitamins and minerals. They are also a natural laxative because of the high fiber content, so eat up my friends! Dates are also considered one of the sweetest fruits out there, so grab a date when you’re craving something sweet and chewy. Dates are great to make raw pie/tart crusts, use as a base for protein and energy bars, as well as a sweetener for your granola. Dates are also linked to protection against cancer and abdominal diseases (likely because of the fiber content-fiber literally cleans out the intestine.) They are also known to be an excellent remedy for alcohol intoxication. So, next time you have a giant hangover, grab a date!

I have lived without dates in Korea for a long time but not anymore! They will become a regular part of my diet.

I hope you make the date dessert and start appreciating the health benefits of dates.

Love and light,

Maria

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