Would you like to know what the super sweet secret ingredient to this unbelievable delicious and easy chocolate dessert is???
The crazy “weird” dried fruit that is kind of like a raisin… maybe you’ve had it in gross fruit cake or cereal as a kid, maybe you’ve never seen them but you don’t even know what you would do with them when you found them. Well relax and take note – dates are more common than you think, forgiving and as sweet as can be. Ever had a bacon wrapped date? You’re missing out. Dates do contain a lot of sugar but they also contain calcium and magnesium in a near perfect ratio (1:1), they have 1.5 g fiber, potassium, vitamin A and other minerals; that’s per date! When dates were tested for their antioxidant content, they scored 3 times higher than red plums. The recipe below can be used as a pie filling, push pop popsicle mold, eaten solo, or even as a parfait – layered with berries and Tru Whip.
Fudgesicle Filling (makes ~3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups medjool dates (about 16), pitted and chopped (soak in water for easier blending)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup softened coconut butter
- 2-3 tsp coconut oil, melted
- heaping 1/3 cup raw organic cacao powder
- 1 1/3 cup purified water or leftover date water from soaking
- Soak dates in purified water for 30 minutes or more. Soak them longer if they aren’t very fresh and moist.
- Blend or use a tamper and Vitamix – all ingredients until it has a thick pudding-like consistency, add more water if necessary.
- Smooth into push pop popsicle molds. You will have plenty for 4 molds.
- Freeze for 1 day. Enjoy!
What would cashews have to do with jalapeno nacho cheese dip? Let’s consult my handy dandy 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden… it says “A lot.” Cashews are in fact the base of this dip and before you dismiss this as hippie quackery I urge you to give it a try.
Cashews and nuts in general have been scientifically shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and attacks. It does this through its monounsaturated content which raises good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers the bad (LDL). Cashews are rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese and selenium. Add to that 5 g of protein and 1 g of fiber per ounce. Have I mentioned that it’s delicious? Just ask my meat-eating-Sarah’s-a-crazy-hippie friend who said “Frito Lay Jalapeno Dip? Yeah I love that stuff! Oh but this is waaaay better.”
Jalapeño Cheese Dip (adapted from Amy Healy)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (fresh or roasted)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for a few hours then drained – optional step)
- 1 medium slice of fresh onion, diced (or 2 tsp onion powder)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp pink salt
- 2-3 T nutritional yeast (try it!)
- 4 T water +/-
- 2 T fresh lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
- 1/2-3 jalapeño pepper with seeds
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Blend all ingredients in a VitaMix, blender or food processor until smooth. Refrigerate.
Put it on some of these recipes or try it on any of your own:
For a comparison to Frito Lay Jalapeno Cheddar Dip let’s look at the obvious. The Frito Lay Jalapeno Cheddar dip lists MSG twice in the ingredients; once as monosodium glutamate and the other as autolyzed yeast extract (yep, that’s MSG!).
I love snacks just as much as the next person, and this one is a staple.
These are frozen, so they’re a perfect pre-workout snack when you’re about to leave the house or while you’re filling your water bottle… They are also a great pre-dinner snack, because let’s face it, I’m starving after lunch/before dinner/any time.
Banana Honey Oat Bars
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 2 cups raw oat flakes
- 1 c raw almond butter
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 T fresh raw bee pollen granules
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- coconut oil to grease the pan
- Grease an 8×8 or 9×9″ pan.
- Mix all other ingredients in a bowl until dough forms. I like to pre-chop my oats gently in my VitaMix (food processor will do) until they’re all about cut in half.
- Pat dough into pan (or make balls) and freeze for 24 hours. Cut into squares after 12 hours or so – it’s softer. Can be stored up to 2 weeks. 9×9 pan makes 25.
Bananas are an awesome pre-workout food, as are Oats. This article says oats are the perfect fiber fill-up without gas for steady carbohydrate release, and bananas keep muscle and nerve function going strong with the right amount of fuel. This snack is also awesome for kids and they could probably even make it.
And if you’re still wondering about Bee Pollen, let me tell you I put 1 tsp in 1 L of our smoothie every day. Bee pollen is said to be nature’s perfect food because it’s packed with micro stuff like enzymes, trace elements, ~18 amino acids, almost all known minerals, and has more amino acids and vitamins than beef, eggs, or cheese. It’s also one of the few non-meat sources of B12. Bee pollen contains the essence of the plants as well, and I can say we don’t suffer from allergies. It’s a superfood in Bowden’s 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.
And if you are fretting over the cost of almond butter, see if a store near you has bulk almond butter from a machine like them machine churned peanut butter. You could mix 1/2 almond butter and 1/2 peanut butter to change the taste as well and make the almond butter splurge last longer. You can always make your own almond butter in a VitaMix too! I just prefer the 10 second machine churned version!