Serving Size: 1 date half
Calories: 28 • Total Fat: 1.6g • Total Carbohydrate: 3g (Fiber: 1g • Sugars: 2g) • Protein: 1g
Low Calorie • Rich in Good Fats • Gluten-Free • Vegan Option
I remember my first encounter with dates. I was on a spring break trip in Tunisia, Africa and they came on the side of every meal. The locals ate them like candy so of course I had to try them. As soon as I tried my first one I knew exactly why they were so popular. In the course of the week I probably ate my body weight in dates and had the sugar high to prove it. Let’s just say moderation was not on my mind that trip. Side note: have you ever tried authentic African cuisine? It is sooooooo good.
Anyways, although dates are relatively high in sugar compared to other dried fruits, they have a multitude of health benefits when eaten in moderation. They’re packed with fiber which increases satiety and helps with irregularity, are rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants, decrease inflammation, and are packed with all natural sugars which make them a perfect pre-workout snack.
Although my trip was several years ago, I still love dates and try to use them in any recipe I can (hence the inspiration for this Caramel Apple Pie Dip). So, when I read this month’s Recipe Redux theme I knew exactly what to make. Here was the challenge:
A Vacation-Inspired Recipe
Start unpacking your favorite vacation memories. Think about a trip you took state-side or internationally and create a healthy recipe from an unforgettable meal you enjoyed. Or, create a recipe from a native ingredient you saw or tasted on your travels.
Enter these stuffed date bites. To balance the carbohydrates in the dates, I added protein and a little healthy fat by filling them with Greek yogurt and then topping with walnuts. They’re a perfectly well-balanced snack for any time of the day or even an appetizer for your next party!
Honey vanilla bean stuffed dates
Servings: 40 date halves
- 20 dates, pitted and halved
- 4 tbsp (2 oz) light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- walnut halves (40 total)
- Using a sharp knife, cut each date in half and remove the pit.
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, honey, and vanilla bean (or vanilla extract).
- Transfer the filling to a piping bag or a small ziptop bag with one corner cut off. (Note: you can also use a butter knife or spreader). Fill the center of each date half with the cream cheese.
- Top each one with a walnut half and drizzle with honey.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.