One of my Christmas favorites is my grandma’s date nut bread. (She’s also responsible for that delicious cranberry recipe I shared earlier.) Although Grandma’s recipe calls for sugar, you can also substitute agave. If you’re not familiar with agave, it’s much the consistency and color of honey, and it has a lower glycemic index than sugar. Since it tastes sweet with no additional flavors, it’s a great substitute and requires only 3/4 cups agave to 1 cup of sugar.
Grandma’s Date Nut Bread
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cut-up dates
2 Tbs. soft butter
1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cups agave)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Pour soda and boiling water over chopped dates. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat well. Add flour and mix. Pour in date mixture (and nuts if using). Bake in a 9 x 5 greased loaf pan at 350º for 45 – 55 minutes.
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No matter how healthy I eat all year long, the holidays come along and visions of high fructose sugar plums start dancing in my head. Not that healthy! I want to enjoy the seasonal goodies, but I still want to maintain my health. I’ve been making an extra effort this year to find some recipe treasures that are still sweet, or rich, or decadent – without being bad for me and my family. I love cooking and baking with dates because they are so sweet and wonderful, and they’re healthy too. Here’s a recipe that will be added to our family Christmas recipe box: Coconut Date Balls.
2 pounds of pitted organic dates, cut in small pieces
3 tablespoons honey
¼ – ½ cup coconut oil (Using more oil gets them harder during refrigeration)
2 ½ cups organic shredded coconut
1 cup ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Some extra shredded coconut for coating
In a medium sized saucepan, cook the dates, honey and oil over low heat until they’re blended together. Turn off the heat and add the shredded coconut and ground flax seeds. Let the mixture cool.
Once cooled, stir in the vanilla extract. Place the extra coconut in a shallow bowl. Roll the date mixture into small balls (about 1 – 1/2 inches) then roll them in the shredded coconut. Eat warm or refrigerate.
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