Date & salted peanut bliss bites

These date and salted peanut bites are so delicious that I guarantee you that you will finish them way too quickly!
Quick fact though: Dates, peanuts and chocolate are are all very calorie-dense, meaning only a small bite contains a lot of calories and so you only need small amounts of them at a time. So it is maybe wise to store them in the fridge and only grab a bite or two at a time, e.g. in the morning with your coffee or your tea.
These bliss bites do however contain a lot of nutrients, so if you like a sweet treat once in a while, I would recommend having these as a healthy sweet treat instead of a store-bought one. The bites contain high amounts of dietary fiber, antioxidants, a lot of essential vitamins and minerals as well as having only natural sugar coming from the dates themselves (and a tiny amount from your dark chocolate).

5.0 from 1 reviews
My favorite date & salted peanut bliss bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 20-25 bites
Ingredients
  • base layer
  • 300 g pitted dates*
  • 200 g salted peanuts**
  • 5-6 tbsp nut butter (peanut-, cashew- or almond butter)
  • top layer
  • 60-100 g 70-85% dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Place the salted peanuts in the food processor for a short while to grind them slightly (15-30 sec). Put them in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Put the dates and the peanut butter in a food processor and mix until it forms a thick paste (2-4 min). Use a spatula to scrape along the sides.
  3. Now add in the peanuts, and blend until everything is mixed well (30-90 sec).
  4. Find a cake tin, about 20 cm/8 inch, or 1-2 bread tins. Put baking paper in the tin(s) and pour the mixture into it/them. Smooth with a plastic wrap and you fingers. Put in a freezer for a few minutes while you make the chocolate.
  5. Melt the chocolate over a water bath. When it is melted and ready, take the cake tin out of the freezer and pour the chocolate over the base layer. It is good to pour the whole chocolate over at once and then tilt the tin slightly and turn it slowly in a circular motion to cover the entire top layer. Allow the chocolate to harden either in the fridge or the freezer for a few minutes and then cut into pieces or slices depending on what suits you best.
  6. Can be stored in a refrigerator for up to two weeks and freezer for up to a month.
Notes
* Use fresh and juicy dates like Medjool Dates. If you do not have them, you can use dried dates and put them in boiled water for a few minutes to soften them. Afterwards, pour all of the excess water away and then put just the dates in the food processor.
** Optional - you can substitute half of the peanuts with unsalted peanuts to decrease the amount of salt in the recipe.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 30 g | Calories: 134 | Fat: 8 g | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Fiber: 2 g | Protein: 4 g

 

Dates – are an excellent source of dietary fiber, keeping digestion regular and leaving you feeling fuller for longer. They are high in potassium, copper, selenium and magnesium as well as vitamin B, vitamin C and antioxidants [1].
Recommended for help with – digestive health | easing constipation | reducing cholesterol | strong bones and muscles | energy | joint health | healthy skin | mood stabilizer
Peanuts – they share a similar nutritional profile as nuts, but are actually legumes. Therefore, they are not harmful to nut-allergy sufferers, but some people do have a specific allergy to peanuts. If you either are pregnant or have a young child, introducing peanuts to your and/or their diet slowly seems to decrease the chance of them developing peanut allergy [2].
Peanuts are also a good source of dietary fiber and protein as well as manganese, which helps calcium in the formation of skeletal tissue and helps vitamin B3 (niacin) – an antioxidant – protect the body against excessive tissue damage from free radicals. Peanuts also contain calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, folate and zinc. [3]. If you decide to substitute with almond or cashew butter, you will reap more or less the same nutritional benefits.
Recommended for help with – lowering cholesterol | bone formation
Dark chocolate (70% or higher) – has many health related benefits, most of them coming from an active compound in cacao (a.k.a. chocolate), called theobromine. It is rich in flavonoids, which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, that can help protecting against cell damage. There are also a lot of important minerals in chocolate, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc [4, 5] as well as vitamins A, B, E and K [5]. Since dark chocolate contains higher amounts of cocoa solids, thus having more flavonoids, compared to milk chocolate (and being lower in sugar as well) it offers the greatest health benefits. For example, a 40-g serving of dark chocolate contains 951 mg of cocoa flavonoids, whereas milk chocolate provides only 394 mg [6].
Eating up to 40 g/day of dark chocolate has shown to be beneficial in reducing blood pressure [7], decreasing stress-levels [8], improving insulin sensitivity [9], and having positive effects on heart health [10].
However, it is good to bear in mind that chocolate does contain rather high amounts of saturated fat and is very calorie dense. Generally speaking, you should limit your daily saturated fat intake to less than 10% of your total caloric intake. Eating 20 grams of dark chocolate will provide you with 100 kcal, so you might want to enjoy it in moderation. Eating around 5-7 g/day seems to be the optimal amount, if you want to both reap the functional effects and not affect your daily caloric intake [11].
Recommended for help with – maintaining good blood pressure | bone formation | help storing iron (oxygenating blood)
It depends on the type of chocolate you use in how messy it gets when you cut them into bites. However, if you warm up your knife and dry it with a towel you should be able to cut it more easily.

References:
  1. Ghnimi, S., Umer, S., Karim, A., Kamal-Eldin, A. Date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.): An underutilized food seeking industrial valorization. 2017. NFS Journal. 6: 1-10.
  2. Perry, D., Lindblad, A.J., Islam, B., Korownyk, C. 2018. Benefits of early peanut introduction. Canadian Family Physician. 64:201.
  3. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release. 2018. Peanuts. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/16087?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=peanuts&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= (Accessed 2018-14-09).
  4. Cinquanta, L., Di Cesare, C., Manoni, R., Piano, A., Roberti, P., Salvatori, G. Mineral essential elements for nutrition in different chocolate products. 2016. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 67: 773-8.
  5. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release. 2018. Dark chocolate. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/19904?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=70-85+dark+chocolate&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing= (Accessed 2018-14-09).
  6. Vinson, A.J., Proch, J. Zubik, L. Phenol Antioxidant Quantity and Quality in Foods:  Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate. 1999. J. Agric. Food Chem.  47, 12, 4821-4824.
  7. Grassi, D., Desideri, G., Necozione, S., Lippi, C., Casale, R., Properzi, G., Blumberg, J.B., Ferri, C. Blood pressure is reduced and insulin sensitivity increased in glucose-intolerant, hypertensive subjects after 15 days of consuming high-polyphenol dark chocolate. 2018. J Nutr. Sep;138(9):1671-6.
  8. Martin FP, Rezzi S, Peré-Trepat E, Kamlage B, Collino S, Leibold E, Kastler J, Rein D, Fay LB, Kochhar S. Metabolic effects of dark chocolate consumption on energy, gut microbiota, and stress-related metabolism in free-living subjects. 2009. J Proteome Res. Dec;8(12):5568-79.
  9. Grassi, D., Desideri, G., Necozione, S., et al. Chocolate, endothelium and insulin resistance. 2008. Agro Food Industry Hi-tech, Volume 19, Issue 3; 8-12.
  10. University of Cambridge Research. Eating chocolate cuts risk of heart disease. 2011. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/eating-chocolate-cuts-risk-of-heart-disease (Accessed 2018-20-09).
  11. Serafini, M. and Jirillo, E. Editorial: Chocolate and Health: Friend or Foe? 2017. Front. Nutr. 4:67.

 

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply Aldís Unnur Guðmundsdóttir September 27, 2018 at 11:23

    Til hamingju með síðuna þína. Hún er heldur betur glæsileg.

    • Reply heilsulind September 27, 2018 at 12:05

      Þúsund þakkir elsku Aldís! <3

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