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Date Sweetened No Bake Cookies Esali Birth

I love food - all of it.  There are things I don't like of course, but I don't discriminate based on savory, sweet, salty, crunchy, gooey, chewey, comforty.... YUMMY food!  I also really don't like processed sugar.  My family started cutting back the sweets and baked goods years ago, and my kids especially don't get many sweets compared to others.  They could literally probably name every piece of candy they've ever had and know which holiday or event it coincided with.  I'm a full time work-at-home-homeschooling mom - I don't do crazy hyper "that's just how they're supposed to act" kids and artificial additives and sugar are the main culprits.  We do lots of outdoor time to, and, well... let's get back to these dates.

Date sweetened recipes are amazing.  Dates have this amazing sweetening ability like the lovely banana.  Dates pack a bigger sugar punch than the banana, and not something I'd over indulge in - but these are going to be one of your favorite sugar replacements because they will give your baked goods such a similar flavor to your normal processed [brown] sugar.  There may be some consistency changes to some of your favorite recipes - but you can pretty much sub dates equally in most recipes.  You may need to adjust your dry ingredients or just expect a little different result in the end.

Nourishment from Date Sweetened Treats

Dates are high in fiber making these treats a great sweet selection during pregnancy to help avoid constipation.  Dates are also high in iron, B-vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Tannins (supportive antioxidant when not in extreme doses), magnesium and so many other main vitamins and minerals that these can make a great option for a natural sweet option.

Making Date Puree for Date Sweetened Treats

Measure the same amount of dates as your recipe calls for.  One cup of dates for one cup of sugar, plus a few extra.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and puree.  For a baked cake, you may want to start with pureeing first and then measuring out the same amount of puree as the recipe calls for and test out a small cake first to see how you like the flavor and consistency.

Date puree can be used for granola bars, nut balls or just simply to spread on toast.

Date Sweetened No-Bake Cookies

No bake cookies have to be one of the most crave-worthy treats.  Not so much because they're the best tasting - but because of their conveniently fast prep and clean-up time.  Within a few minutes of a craving, you can soothe it with a little protein, a little digestive support, and a hint of chocolate.  Unfortunately, they're high in sugar and this is where your date sweetened puree will really shine.  These no bakes won't setup like the traditional candied chocolate no-bake cookies - but they'll hold together well, not runny, and be just as chewy and delicious.  This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd, but I enjoy the small batch that doesn't cause binge-eating reactions.

Date Sweetened No Bake Cookie Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup pitted, chopped dates
  • 1/2 Water (you can replace this with any milk choice if you'd like - or add more if you need to when blending the dates and adjust the rolled oats accordingly)
  • 2 Tblsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tblsp Dark Cocoa Powder (or regular cocoa or cacao powder for a milder raw flavor)
  • 1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 C Natural Unsweetened Nut Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Mineral Salt

Yield: 12

Add the water to the dates and puree until smooth.  Add the dates, cocoa powder, milk, and butter in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the peanut butter and rolled oats.  Spoon out onto a silpat and shape.  Let sit until cool and store in an air-tight container.  Refrigeration recommended.

NOTE: These will not setup like typical no-bake cookies, but will hold their shape.  Alternatively, you can roll the mixture into balls.  You can also omit the butter and just mix everything together after pureeing the dates adding - even adding more oats for more of a granola bar consistency.  We're not trying to make candy, so you don't really have to follow the recipe on this one.  Add sprouted seeds for more protein and texture - the possibilities are endless.

 

Date sweetened treats can be a great way of having a guilt-free choice for your sweet tooth craving.  What are your favorite date sweetened recipes?

 

 

banana sweetened esali birth

Banana sweetened foods are the perfect fix for your sweet tooth with the ability to add moisture and denisty, the caramelization we love from crystal sugar, plus fiber and nutrients crucial to smooth digestion without added sugar.  Most "no-sugar" recipes use synthetic sugars, processed stevia, honey, or maple syrup, but those condensed forms don't provide the whole food nourishment our body, and baby craves.

Bananas are super sweet, but low on the glycemic index due to their fiber content and water-soluble pectin that aids in healthy digestion (a property that increases as bananas ripen).  According to WHFoods.org, bananas are high in vitamins and minerals such as B6, manganese, vitamin C and potassium making them excellent for whole body health.

Some of my favorite ways to have a sweet banana treat is dipping bananas in salted peanuts or adding bananas to a peanut butter sandwich but that doesn't always give me that sweet texture fix that so many baked goods have.  Here are five mouth-watering recipes sweetened only with bananas that will curb your sugar craving from lightly sweetened breakfasts to snacks and full-on cookie addictions.  Not only are you never going to have overripe bananas again, you're going to stock up on these goodies just to let them get nice and spotted.  If your bananas aren't ripe enough yet, separate each banana to expose their stems, layer them with apples, and place them in a brown paper bag to speed the ripening process.

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal

Sometimes I just miss the crazy sweet packets of oatmeal I would eat occasionally before I really understood that #sugarisevil, but I just don't like the way it makes me feel or what all those artificial additives do to my health.  This banana sweetened berry oatmeal bowl will have you craving that fresh taste and soothing your system morning or night.

  • Cook 1 serving of oatmeal with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a dash of nutmeg
  • Mash 1 banana very well and mix into the warm oatmeal, letting it cook for just a minute longer to help infuse the banana flavors into the oatmeal.  (If you have time, caramelize your banana first with coconut oil or coconut puree before adding)
  • Top with 1/2 cup fresh seasonal berries and 1 tsp. THRIVE green smoothie herbal powders.
  • Add chopped (toasted if you like) pecans

I enjoy this dish with fresh picked strawberries that have warmed in the spring sun, as the evening cools down and I want something simple and soothing.  In the evening, though, I don't add the herbal powders because they're so energizing.

Banana Sweetened Yogurt Smoothie

One thing my kids miss is cute organic smoothie cups.  If you haven't looked at the back of your organic (or non-organic) yogurt, you'll probably start now.  There's not much probiotic support in something with so much added sugar - you're pretty much just counteracting the sugar and not improving the healthy bacteria.  Not to mention, the cravings you're creating.

  • Take 1/2-1 Cup plain yogurt (Greek if you like it thicker) and blend with 1 very ripe banana.
  • You can also add 3-4 tsp.  THRIVE green smoothie powders plus 1 cup of your favorite frozen fruit blend (but keep the banana unfrozen) for a chilling treat for 3-4 people.  This can be super sweet, so feel free to add a bit of water to tame it down a bit.  We use frozen berries when we don't have access to fresh from our garden berries so we're sure to get organic goodness picked at its peak.
  • Top it with fresh mint, a fresh berry (and even mix in a little rose chardonnay sans the yogurt for all you post-postpartum ladies).

Banana Sweetened Ice Cream

A perfect addition to a banana sweetened cupcake on the first birthday (see next recipe) is this one-ingredient delicately smooth banana sweetened ice cream.  Easily adaptable with a variety of flavors, you can cream it up, or put it in a cone.

  • Use one frozen banana and blend it in your best blender or with an infusion blender until creamy and serve as is.
  • For chocolate, add 1 tsp. cocoa powder when blending.
  • For a peanut butter twist, add in unsweetened peanut butter or warm and drizzle on top
  • Add chopped nuts.
  • Add 1/4 cup very chill whipping cream or coconut cream for a creamier texture, though this is totally optional.

1 banana is great for serving two and this recipe easily doubles up for a crowd.  I've served the chocolate version at birthday parties without people ever knowing it was only bananas and cocoa powder.

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal Cake

Oatmeal cookies are known as the "healthy" cookie.  Though there's nothing healthy about a teaspoon of extra processed sugar per cookie, especially when you're eating 4-5 at one sitting.  Try this banana sweetened oatmeal pancake alternative that can be made in just a few minutes on the stove top or made as an oatmeal cookie or cupcake with the renditions below, used for a healthy first birthday cake or cupcake treat.

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal Pancakes

  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats or 1/3 Cup Oat flour
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Egg
  • Pinch baking soda
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well then pour out just as you would cook pancakes.  Serve warm (add butter and fruit topping or syrup if you'd like, but these are a great "cookie" alternative)

Banana Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

  • Make as above, doubling the recipe.
  • Add 2 Tblsp. Olive or Coconut Oil
  • Add a handful of chopped nuts
  • Add a handful of dried unsweetened cherries or raisins
  • Drop on cookie sheet and bake @ 350ºF for 8-10 minutes

Banana Sweetened First Birthday Cake (or cupcakes)

  • 1-3/4 Cups Rolled Oats, blended (or other flour alternative)
  • 2 Egg
  • 3 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Apple Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk (or any kind milk + 3/4 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 tsp. Pink or Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Clove
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls then blend together.
  • Pour into 9x13 pan or cupcake tray and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until middle springs up and toothpick in center comes out clean.
  • Top with any icing.  We prefer unsweetened or honey-sweetened whipped cream.  You can also substitute the powdered sugar in a whipped icing recipe with this powdered banana.

Chocolate Banana Sweetened First Birthday Cake (or cupcakes)

  • 1-3/4 Cups Rolled Oats, blended (or other flour alternative)
  • 2 Egg
  • 4 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Apple Sauce
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk (or any kind milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1/4 tsp. Pink or Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cocao Powder (or Cocoa Powder)
  • Mix dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls then blend together.
  • Pour into 9x13 pan or cupcake tray and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until middle springs up and toothpick in center comes out clean.
  • Top with any icing.  We prefer unsweetened or honey-sweetened whipped cream.  You can also substitute the powdered sugar in a whipped icing recipe with this powdered banana.

Banana Sweetened Banana Bread

Everyone knows the joy of overripe bananas for the savory goodness of banana bread and this list wouldn't be complete without an actual recipe for banana bread that doesn't include any kind of processed sugar.  Even the "no sugar" recipes use honey or maple syrup.  This banana bread recipe is absolutely deliciously banana-only sweetened. Yum!

  • 7 Very Overripe Bananas, Mashed
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 6-12 oz. Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, your favorite), recommended

Mix all the wet ingredients together until bananas are blended well.  Add dry ingredients.  Pour in a large loaf pan.  Bake at 375ºF for 1 hour.

 

How are you enjoying your banana treats?  Tag your photos with #esalibirth and let me see your beautiful creations and first birthday cake photos!

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