Dates

Dates are full of vitamins, nutrients (such as iron and calcium) and fiber to help you maintain optimal health. Not only do dates taste delicious but they regulate the digestive system and build muscle strength. Although dates are high in natural sugar, they contain almost zero grams of fat per serving. Dates are a source of energy and a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

At the grocery store, choose Medjool dates - these can be found in the produce section or in the dried fruit and nut aisle. We love cooking with dates because they provide a natural source of sweetness that can be a substitute for sugar.

How do you use dates? Start by removing the pits, then use a food processor to puree the dates until they form a paste. This date paste can be used in no-bake sweets, as well as baked goods. See these Slender Seven recipes, which use this date paste as the main source of sweetness:

Morning Glory Cookies - dates with coconut, carrots, apples and oats

Blondies in the Raw - dates with almond butter, oats, vanilla extract and chocolate chips

blondies

No Bake Carrot Cake - dates with carrots, oats, dried pineapple and coconut

Sweet & Salty Squares - dates with oats, cereal, pretzels and almond butter

Nut Butter Cookie Bites - dates with oats, almond butter, and chocolate chips

Brownie Bites - dates with unsweetened cocoa powder

Dates can also be combined with almonds or macadamia nuts in a food processor to form a crust. With just two ingredients and one easy step, you can make a pie crust that is high in both protein and fiber, with no gluten or added sugars. The crust can be baked or enjoyed as a raw dessert. Here are the recipes that use this simple and tasty pie crust:

Double Chocolate Fudge Cakes

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Apple-Pear Tart