Dates are an ancient food prized in many parts of the world for their delicate, sweet flavor and, according to NPR, they have been consumed by humans since at least 5,000-6,000 BC and were formally cultivated in the Middle East for around 6,000 years.
In the early 1900s, Walter Swingle, at the behest of the U.S. government, was scouring the world to find exotic foods to bring back to American growers. In 1927, he brought back several Medjool date offshoots from Morocco to California’s Coachella Valley, as it most closely resembled their original growing climate. This variety was often reserved for Moroccan royalty due to their complex and labor-intensive cultivation process, but can now be enjoyed throughout the world.
For a change of pace from the typical energy bar available in stores, here is a recipe featuring those Medjool dates and other natural ingredients from Detoxinista.com
Medjool Date Bites
2 cups of walnuts, or any other
nut/seed of choice
1 cup of shredded, unsweetened
2 cups of soft Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. In a large food processor or blender, process the nuts and shredded coconut until crumbly. Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt and process again until it is sticky and uniform.
2. Scoop or use your hands to gather enough of the mixture to roll into a ball, square, or shape of your choice. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and put them in the freezer to set for at least an hour before serving.
3. The balls will be good in a sealed, refrigerated container for up to a week or in the freezer for longer.
Makes 24 servings. Each bite has about 133 calories.