Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I feel as though I haven’t eaten for a month, I’m so hungry. I like to think it’s because I’m a really aggressive sleeper (I have the craziest dreams 90% of the time). And for whatever reason, it usually takes my daughter & I an hour to get ourselves down to the kitchen to get some breakfast. This is usually because 1) it’s so cold on our main level that I feel like we need to get fully dressed or we will freeze to death 2) my daughter takes 30 minutes to go to the bathroom 3) I figure if we’re going to go through the routine of getting dressed, why not also make our beds, brush our teeth, & do our hair while we’re up here. So, if you combine my crazy hunger with an hour’s worth of time, plus toddler antics, by the time we get down to the breakfast table, I’m a big angry mess. And I haven’t even mentioned what condition my daughter is in.
Something that has really been a life-saver as of lately has been these Date Nut Bites. Sometimes I creep downstairs while my daughter is still sleeping & grab a few of these so that we both can munch on them while we’re getting ready in the mornings. They aren’t quite filling enough to be considered breakfast, but they are the perfect pre-breakfast snack. They give us just a bit of natural energy through the lightly sweetened dates & the heart-healthy walnuts supply us with a dose of potassium, calcium, & magnesium (remember how important magnesium is?). Omega 3 fats in the walnuts help combat against the bad kind of cholesterol & increase the good cholesterol, so they are an incredibly healthy snack.
The unsweetened coconut in these bites add just the perfect flavor. Catherine McCord, the author of Weelicious recommends that you pulse the walnuts & dates together & then roll them in the coconut, but I’ve found better success with just adding the coconut in with the two ingredients. For me, the coconut didn’t seem to stick as well when it was rolled in at the end.
Something else that has been a little life-changing has been using fresh walnuts. No, I didn’t buy whole walnuts & shell them (although it always seems like such a romantic thing to do while sitting by a fireplace or something, doesn’t it?) California Walnuts was gracious enough to send me a package of fresh walnuts & they are literally rocking my world. Did you know that you’re supposed to store your nuts in the fridge for added freshness? I guess I’ve been clueless when it comes to nut preservation.
I love these Date Nut Bites for my pre-breakfast snack, but they are also quite lovely when I need just a bite of something sweet, usually in the afternoon. Instead of over-indulging in a bowl of ice cream or baking up something wildly chocolatey, these bites really satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard. Even though they do contain a bit of natural sugar from the dates, I don’t wind up with the same ol’ sugar crash as I would from a bite (or two or three) of a brownie.
Whenever summer decides to show its pretty little face this year (please, Lord, let it be sooner than last year!) I imagine these Date Nut Bites to be the perfect playground snack while Ruby is frocking around with her friends. They will supply her little body with all the energy she needs to keep up with the big kids, as well as nourish her body. What mama doesn’t love that?
- 1 pound Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Pulse the walnuts on a food processor until they are very fine. Add the dates & pulse until smooth. Add the coconut flakes until everything is well-incorporated.
Roll the ingredients into bite-sized balls, using your hands to really mash them together well. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Recipe adapted from Weelicious
California Walnuts sent me a package of their lovely walnuts with no strings attached. All thoughts & opinions, as always, are my own. To check out California Walnuts, go to their site here.
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