No flour. No sugar. Yes to tasty treats! With just a few choice ingredients, these no-bake date nut cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth, guilt-free.
Chewy, nutty, and made with just a few good-for-you-ingredients, these are a lovely evening snack and a perfect treat for packing into your lunch box for school or work. Dates do all the work of sweetening these flourless, sugarless cookies.
From The Book of Veganish by Kathy Freston with Rachel Cohn, © 2016. By arrangement with Avery Publishing, reprinted with permission.
- 2 cups soft Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans, plus more for decorating, if desired
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a food processor, combine the dates, nuts, and coconut and process until crumbly. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, and salt and process until it forms a sticky dough.
- Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons, rolling it between your palms to form balls.
- Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pressing down to flatten slightly. You can press a piece of walnut or pecan in the top center of the cookies, if you’d like.
- Refrigerate the pan of cookies for at least 3 hours to firm up before serving. Store any leftover cookies in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g
A few words about dates and other dried fruits
Concentrated sources of natural sweetness and nutrition, dried fruits deserve a more prominent role in the plant-powered pantry. Good sources of dietary fiber, their natural sweetness enhances hot and cold cereals, trail mixes, and baked goods.
Dried fruits are rich in minerals, notably iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, as well as vitamins A and C, depending on the fruit.
Many dried fruits available in supermarkets have been treated with sulfur dioxide, which helps them retain their color. This preservative is defined as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA, but the process is done primarily for cosmetic purposes.
If you prefer unsulfured dried fruits, purchase them in natural foods stores, where bulk dried fruits are labeled as such.
Most of us keep raisins in our pantry, but consider other fruits available in dried form, including the dates featured in the recipe above (Medjool and Deglet), as well as prunes, apples, peaches, pears, papayas, mangos, bananas, Turkish figs, cranberries, cherries, and pineapple.
Here are a few more ways to enjoy dates on a regular basis:
As a snack: Dates are excellent as a naturally sweet snack eaten out of hand, for children and adults alike, on their own or mixed with nuts. Make sure they’re pitted! You can also cut large dates in half, remove the pit, and stuff with peanut butter.
In baked goods: Chopped dates are excellent in muffins and sweet quick breads in place of raisins.
In trail mixes and cereals: Combine chopped or small whole dates with other dried fruits with nuts and seeds to make high-energy trail mixes. Use chopped dates to top hot and cold cereals.
Liquid sweetener: Cover pitted dates with hot water, let stand for a half hour or so, then blend to make a naturally sweet substitute for agave nectar, maple syrup, and the like.
Embellished fruit and veggie salads: Add chopped or small whole (pitted) dates to fresh fruit salads for variety and texture.
Sweet side dishes: Add chopped dates to sweet vegetable dishes featuring carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato.
The Book of Veganish by Kathy Freston and Rachel Cohn
is available on Amazon* and wherever books are sold
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