Toast-y Stuffed Dates
Toast-y Stuffed Dates:
AN ODE TO DATES
Can we just take a moment of silence to appreciate the almighty date? Sweet, caramel, ooey-gooey, tantalizing goodness. Nature’s candy. Nature’s caramel. Nature’s gift.
Ever since going vegan, dates have become a mandatory staple in my life. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve gone a single day in the last two and a half years without eating at least ½ cup of dates, and my life is 100 times better for it. I have more energy, vitality & life in me, and besides the fact of that being largely a direct result of me adopting better lifestyle habits & choices (i.e. going vegan), I could swear an even larger contributing factor is the enormous amounts of dates I consume on the daily.
I want to just take a moment to touch on the highly debated topic of sugar (cue suspense music). Our bodies run primarily on glucose and the brain runs exclusively on glucose. Knowing this, it makes a lot of sense to give the body the most easily convertible source of energy so that the body can use less time & energy struggling to digest & convert heavy proteins & fats into usable energy, namely glucose. It is for this reason that fruit is queen. Fruit is very easy to digest, it is highly nutritious – containing many various nutrients and essential minerals & vitamins, and it provides the body with very easily used converted and usable energy. The fiber in fruit allows for the slower digestion and absorption of fruit sugar (fructose) into the blood stream (hence why when we eat refined sugar we experience an immediate energy spike followed by a huge dip due to the lack of fiber and the highly processed nature of the 'food', whereas when we eat fruit we feel energized and “picked up” without the big high and crash, especially if we pair our fruit eating with some sort of light plant fat like a couple of seeds, not too many – so as to avoid making digestion taxing). This allows the body the space, time & energy to focus on repairing and healing, it also gives the body the chance to take in life force energy (through breath and the food we eat) more easily. It also allows for efficient detoxification, which is why when you eat a high-fruit diet you feel so light, energized, rejuvenated and cleansed.
Having said this, fruit is a very yin food. Yin is the feminine energy, the energy of the moon, it is expansive. Some yin qualities are: receptive, dark, raw, wet, cold, quiet, moon energy.
Yang energy is a more masculine energy, a more active energy and is more contractive. Some yang qualities are: intense, fire-y energy, heat, dry, open & active. Yin and yang energy needs to be balanced in order to maintain the body’s energetic balance. Eating a diet very high and rich in yin foods will cause an imbalance in your yin and yang energies. This is one of the reasons I am such an advocate of eating a balanced diet, and eating with the seasons because I believe that eating seasonally allows us to really be in tune with the cycles of nature. Eating with the seasons allow us to take corrective and natural action through diet to balance our energies (for example: eating more raw, fresh, yin foods in the summer months when it is hot. Yin foods are generally wet and hydrating, which is perfect for the hot months when we naturally get more dehydrated. They allow us to feel light, open and energized. The cold, cooling nature of yin foods is perfect for the intense nature of the summer months - being hot, intense, active and intense. Whereas it’s more natural to eat yang-type foods when we are in the Winter months and we need drier, heartier, warming and grounding foods like sweet potatoes and other root vegetables that allow us to feel comforted, warm, insulated and grounded).
ANYWAY, back to this wonderful date snack. Yes. Please.
This is perfect for those times when you need a deep energy boost. This is packed with heart healthy and hormone-balancing fats from the seeds (tahini & toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds) as well as fantastic quick release energy from the dates.
A little more info on dates:
Dates were originally cultivated in the Arabian Peninsular, the Middle East and North Africa. There are over 20 varieties of dates, the Medjool, Halawi, Barhi and Deri being the most popular and nutrient dense ones. Even though dates have a very high sugar content, they are considered a low-GI food due to their high fiber content. Dates have both soluble and insoluble fiber, helping to normalize digestive function. They are high in copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, as well as vitamins K, A and B6.
Ingredients (per one date snack):
· 1 Medjool date
· 1 teaspoon slightly watered down tahini (mix pure tahini with a bit of warm water until it makes a paste consistency)
· ½ teaspoon toasted mixed seeds (pumpkin & sunflower)
· ½ teaspoon of my spiced coconut granola recipe
· 1/2 teaspoon maple/agave syrup
· pinch of Himalayan salt
1. Taking a small sharp knife, make a slit down the center of the date. Take the pit out and compost it/throw it away.
2. Take a teaspoon of tahini paste and fill the date with it, then top with toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Top with ½ teaspoon of the spiced coconut granola. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon of syrup and a pinch of salt and TUCK IN.