I am always trying to create healthier desserts. I was inspired to make this dessert by some dates I had seen stuffed with cheese (I didn’t try them, but like the idea of stuffing dates). Since the dates are so sweet, the filling does not need to be…it would be overpowering if it was. I love how the orange flavor in the filling is subtle, but is definitely there.
2 stuffed dates should be more than enough for each person. I did not make all 36 dates the last time I made these, so I froze the remaining filling to use on another occasion…I’ll let you know how it works out.
Place the coconut milk, orange juice, dates, walnuts, and cinnamon into your high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Once smooth, add the cashews and orange zest and blend until smooth.
Put the completed filling into a pastry bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (2 hours is best).
Prepare the dates by slicing lengthways down to the pit. Open the date carefully (you do not want to tear it in half) and use your fingers to form the date into a circle with the hole on top. Remove the pit.
Pipe the refrigerated filling into the prepared dates.
Top each filled date with a sprinkling of cinnamon and orange zest.
Serve with sliced oranges or mandarins as an accompaniment.
Lunch – I brought lunch to my son at school, so we had a “special” lunch… I had 1/2 of a large cucumber and avocadoTogo’s sandwich on whole wheat with mustard, lettuce, bell peppers, pepperocinis, onions, pickles, olives…piled real high (no mayo)!
1pm – Young Thai coconut (I drank the coconut water)… I would have eaten the coconut meat then too, but ran out of time since I needed to pick-up my daughter from school.
4pm – I drank the rest of the green juice I made this morning (16 ounces more)
5:45pm – Dinner tonight was kale salad and veggie lasagna (I made it a few nights ago and it is yummy! ). Sadly tonight we ate the rest of the lasagna. I will need to post my lasagna recipe the next time I make it.
After dinner snack – this evening I will sip on the rest of the green smoothie I made this afternoon, though at the moment I am pretty full.
I’d say this is a pretty typical day for me food-wise with the exception of the Togo’s…I usually cook/make something simple for lunch.
Our family eats a lot of bananas, but ever so often a few get to the point where my kids find them too ripe to eat plain… I then know it is time to whip-up some banana bread (click here to see another use for ripe bananas). This recipe has been my tried and true recipe for a while.
My daughter has a wheat allergy, so a few years ago I began experimenting with alternative flours. I know I have a winning recipe when my husband (who does not have a wheat allergy) gives them the thumbs up.
This recipe tends to be healthier than most because it uses nut flours as the base (coconut and almond) which are much lower on the glycemic index than regular flours. I also do not use sugar in this recipe. The bananas in themselves are very sweet since they are so ripe. I do add some Somersweet (which was created by Suzanne Somers). Somersweet uses inulin which comes from chicory and is a pre-biotic. If you do not have Somersweet on hand, you can substitute sugar (coconut sugar or brown sugar). Coconut oil is also a very beneficial and nutritious.
Grease the bottom and sides of your muffin tins with coconut oil (I use a mini crumb cake pan).
Grease the Pan
Combine all of the dry ingredients (except for the coconut oil, pecans, and chocolate chips) in a bowl and whisk them to incorporate.
Whisk All of the Dry Ingredients
Once the dry ingredients are well mixed, add the coconut oil into the mixture and cut it in with a pastry blender. You want the coconut oil to break into lots of tiny pieces so that when you add the wet ingredients you won’t have large chunks of coconut oil throughout your batter (this step is very important).
Blend in the Coconut Oil
Slice the bananas into a separate bowl and then mash them being sure to leave some chunks.
I Use a Potato Masher
Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the bananas and mix well.
Add in the Wet Ingredients
Next combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix to combine. The batter will not be runny, but will hold together fairly well.
Once the batter is fully mixed, add in the pecans and chocolate chips.
I use an ice cream scoop (approximately 1/3 cup) to fill my muffin tins and make them uniform so they cook evenly. Once you have filled the muffin tins, push them down to flatten.
Using and Ice Cream Scoop
Flatten the Muffins
If you have any remaining batter, put it into a zip lock bag, flatten it, and remove all of the air bubbles. This batter freezes well.
Freeze Remaining Batter
Bake the muffins for 30-40 minutes (depending upon your muffin tin). Turn the pan 180˚ halfway through the bake time.
Once they are nice and brown and the middle of the muffin is set, remove from the oven.
Nice & Brown
Let the muffins rest for 5 minutes and then transfer them to cooling racks. It is very important to allow the muffins to cool so they firm/set-up. The texture of the muffin won’t be at its best until it is room temperature (not that my kids ever wait that long).
So here’s the low-down on what I ate today. Since I am in recovery mode from the holidays, there is a bunch of green juice to get my nutrient levels back to where they should be…I guess you could say I am doing a cleanse of sorts.
6am – 32 ounces of water with an entire lemon squeezed in
8:15am – 20 ounces of green juice (made in my Breville juicer)
RECIPE (this made enough for the day)
kale stems that I saved from making kale chips
1 huge cucumber
1/2 head of napa cabbage
10am – handful of raw nuts… almonds, walnuts, pecans
1pm – 16 ounces of green juice (made in the morning and put in a 16 ounce mason jar filled to the lid in order to prevent oxidation…a trick I got from Kris Carr)
2:30pm – green smoothie
Blend all of the ingredients in the blender. I use my Vitamix since it completely emulsifies everything. If you don’t have a Vitamix, any blender will work…you may have to add some more liquid to get it all to blend.
"The diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run."
~T. Colin Campbell
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