Monday, February 17, 2014

Delicious Date Eclairs

Who's ready for a sweet treat that's better then chocolate cake and half the calories?  I knew I'd catch your eye!! It's gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, Paleo and truly amazing!!

So this is a sweet treat.  I made them for myself and a friend.  And yes they are small, and we each only had one, and one is all you need to savor the sweet sensation of this fruitful combination.  

I compare it to a chocolate Eclair pastry in an Italian cafe.  No need for pastries this time my friends, this little nugget was just delicious on its own.  My friend Michelle even said, omg this is so good.



So let's get to the goodies shall we?  This baby is easy to make.  Only has 3 ingredients.  And will seriously wow your friends, family, parents, husband, wife, dog and cat.

You will need:
Medjool dates (fresh)
Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter
Organic Coconut Butter

Directions:
1. Wash the dates and remove the pit
2. Open the center enough that you can fill it with the coconut butter and sunflower seed butter
3. Add a chunk of coconut butter in the center and push down
4. Top with a dollop of unsweetened sunflower seed butter
5. Serve

I have to admit I didn't totally come up with this one all by myself.  Now that I am a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition I am learning all about experimentation with mother nature's goodness.  I'm trying new things, cooking with food combos I never thought I'd ever cook together and I'm tasting this world in a new and different amazingly unprocessed way.  It's the less is more idea.  It wasn't until this year that I actually even had a Date.  I remember as a child my mom would buy us those dried fruit packages, and the dried dates were total last resort.  But the fresh ones, which I have grown to love are delicious!  The extra mushy ripe ones really do taste like caramel!!  Don't throw the mushy ones out, those are the ones that taste like magic.  I kid you not!  I cannot believe I never knew about this amazing fruit!

When my doctor told me I had to do the Paleo Lifestyle I was resistant.  I was either with him on this or I wasn't.  Say what?  That's so harsh and so hard all at once!  Now I'm used to elimination diets, hello gluten-free!  But no added sugar?  no dairy? no cheese? omg…no grains? even the gluten-free ones? no legumes including chickpeas, no soy, no vegetable or canola oil, no alcohol (though that's not one i cared about), no white potatoes of any kind, no chocolate, no bananas, no coffee (my special case, lucky me), no processed foods whatsoever starting that very day!  The first thing that came to mind after the initial shock of the elimination was-how am I going to be creative? Creative cooking is my jam!!  What am I going to eat?! I really think my eyes popped out of my head as I looked at my new Integrative Functional Medical doctor.  That very moment took me right back to my Celiac Diagnosis when I had to go gluten-free.  It all came flooding back.  But I knew I could do this, because I did gluten-free.  I knew it would be hard, but I had been there before and came out with flying colors, I just didn't think I'd ever go further then Gluten-Free, needless to say I was on board, it just took me a few minutes to adjust-OK more then a few minutes but you get my drift.

Luckily my new doctor's staff has a team of Certified Health Coaches from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (my amazing school), so I knew I'd be in good hands.  The Health Coach I was assigned to was Jenny Sansouci, and it's her Instagram that initially inspired me, as she had a pic of a Medjool date with coconut butter.  It looked like a dessert that was totally gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo friendly.  I was psyched!!  I made it immediately, but was saddened when I didn't like the taste.  I thought there was something missing.  But her picture inspired me to create the date in a way that I could hands down love the crap out of it, and thus came the idea of adding my unsweetened sunflower seed butter.  That made all the difference.  Between the nutty and the sweet, omg HEAVEN in a bite.  

Additional Tips:

1. I prefer to use organic, gluten-free, vegan, sugar free, sodium free nut butters.  My favorite brand is called Once Again.
2. If you must have the addition sugar, their regular nut and seed butters are delicious.
3. Just in case you were wondering Medjool dates are considered the King of dates.
4. If you don't want to use sunflower seed butter, try almond butter or cashew nut butter.
5. Coconut butter has barely any added sugars!!  And it's a Superfood.  Coconut butter has numerous benefits-it's full of essential amino acids, calcium and magnesium.  It's packed with healthy fats, so you feel full longer.  It boosts immunity and helps destroy harmful bacterial, viruses and fungus.  It's great for your hair and promotes beautiful skin.
6. If you are trying to get off sugar, coconut is the way to go.

xx Enjoy!! 
Julie

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