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Don’t you love recipes that are easy, delicious, and at least mostly good for you? Dates do have a lot of natural sugar, but these snacks are just about as close to healthy as a decadent treat can get! Made with only dates, cacao nibs, and pistachios, they are Paleo, as well as vegetarian & vegan-friendly. They’re easy to whip up, and even easier to enjoy! Especially with coffee. Man, these pistachio date rolls go great with coffee.
These chocolate pistachio date rolls are based on mersu, an ancient Mesopotamian treat that has been made for about 4000 years. Only, of course, those ancient mersu didn’t have cacao nibs because chocolate is New World thing! I’ve previously warned that eating a handful of cacao nibs isn’t the same thing as chomping down on a bunch of chocolate chips (they’re both more bitter and better for you), but the dates are naturally so sweet that the finished date rolls don’t taste bitter, at all. While you can use pre-pitted dates, I highly recommend taking a couple extra minutes to pit Medjool dates, instead. Medjool dates always seem larger and more juicy than whatever I get in those pre-pitted packages! Sometimes you can find them in bulk at health food stores, but they also have them at my local Costco. Score! If you don’t have a health food store or a Costco nearby 1) I’m sorry and 2) they are are on Amazon. Oh, and, no, it isn’t a typo – shelled pistachios are in the ingredient list twice!
Pitting Medjool dates is actually pretty easy. Just carefully cut into one, lengthways, with a sharp knife. When you feel the knife hit the pit, stop trying to cut! Peel the date open and pull out the pit. Your hands will get a little sticky, but it won’t take long. Make sure you pack your pitted dates into the measuring cup so they’re fairly flat. I typically use 16 or 17 large dates for this recipe, but you may have to use more or less to make a cup, depending on how big your dates are.
I made each date roll from about one heaping tablespoon of the date mixture and made a total of 12 rolls. If you make smaller rolls, you’ll have a larger number of finished date rolls and vice versa. It’s totally up to you how big you make yours! I think a tablespoon is a good size, though.
These date rolls are so delicious – I really need to make more! I think they’d be tasty with other nuts, too, or even with coconut. They’re a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth if you’re trying to avoid processed sugars, and they the nuts have fat and protein that help balance out the dates’ sugar content.
What’s you’re go-to “healthy” snack?