Dates aren’t often thought of as a health food. Though they do contain a considerable amount of natural sugars, these sweet fruits also provide fiber, potassium and magnesium.
One date contains almost 2 grams of fiber, which is both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy colon and regularity, however it is also beneficial to heart health and weight loss. Dates are also rich in magnesium, a mineral that is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Magnesium also has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Along with a significant amount of potassium, dates also provide calcium, iron, vitamin K and vitamin B vitamins, including vitamin B6 and folate.
Though dates do provide some nutrients for the body they need to be eaten in moderation due to their sugar content. That sugar content can be taken advantage of however, such as with these chocolate orange date balls and can be used as a source of quick energy. Eat one or two of these bites as a quick source of fuel for when the energy tank is low.
Chocolate Orange Date Balls
Makes 10 balls
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ orange rind, cut into chunks
- Place the dates, walnuts and shredded coconut into a food processor. Process on high until mixture is crumbly and starting to stick together.
- Add remaining ingredients. Process until dough starts to form a ball. It should be sticky to the touch.
- Roll dough into balls using 1 tablespoon for each. Set in the fridge to chill until ready to eat.