This stuffed dates recipe is a lush combination of bitter chocolate, sweet juicy medjool dates, creamy peanut nut butter and flakey sea salt. Taste-wise they kind of remind me of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and Snickers bar hybrid *drool*!
These stuffed dates are total hedonism in a bite…it’s near impossible to stop at one. As a nutritionist, I’m often asked for easy, delicious and nutritious sweet snack or dessert ideas. These are so darn simple; they arguably need a recipe.
Celebrated for their caramel-toffee taste and soft chewy texture, dates offer up culinary perks galore in the kitchen. They feature regularly on Nourish & Tempt, and star in the most popular recipe on the blog – this banana bread with dates!
In the below stuffed date recipe, they serve as the perfect hand-to-mouth vehicle for a glorious trio of nut butter, dark chocolate and flakey salt.
Medjool dates. In New Zealand, these are typically found in the fresh produce section of the supermarket. They’re large, dark and sold dried, not dehydrated – making them soft and sticky. They come pitted (pit removed) or with the pit still in which you have to remove yourself (super easy to do).
Peanut butter. A pantry essential, at least in my kitchen. Opt for a natural peanut butter featuring just peanuts and salt on its ingredients list – it’s all that’s needed👌.
Dark chocolate for its bitterness, texture and deliciousness. Go for a high percentage dark chocolate. If you’re vegan or dairy free, check the ingredients panel for the presence of milk products – most true dark chocolates are dairy-free.
Flakey sea salt. Salt is one of my favourite ingredients in the kitchen. It has its own particular taste, while both balancing and enhancing the flavours of other ingredients. Flaky sea salt is great as a finishing salt (a salt not used in cooking), because of its light, fine and crunchy texture.
If you have a peanut allergy, you could substitute peanut butter for another nut butter. If you want a nut-free version, tahini is ace🤙.
Remove the pit, if needed. If your date still has the pit it in (a very hard large seed that’s horrible to accidentally bite!), extract it first. Simply make a slit down one side of your date with a knife, from top to bottom, and gently pull apart the flesh to expose and take out the pit.
Make a cozy crevice. Pit or not, you’ll need the middle crevice for your nut butter. Slice, as above, to expose the inner middle, being careful not to slice all the way through. In each side there will be a cozy nook to help house your peanut butter.
Load up. The humble teaspoon is my tool of choice for filling dates with nut butter. If filling many in one go, a reusable piping bag is helpful for a tidy and easy job.
Medjool dates are celebrated for their natural sweetness. They’re a good source of dietary fibre and an array of minerals, like potassium, manganese and copper.
Being a dehydrated fruit, their natural sugars are more concentrated, dialling up the sweetness factor. However, their rich fibre content slows the release of these sugars in to your bloodstream – so much, they’re considered a low glycemic fruit.
By pairing dates with slow-to-be-digested protein, fibre and fat-rich nut butter, this helps further reduces blood sugar spikes.
Finely slice down the middle of each date lengthways, cutting about half way down the date. Gently open by pulling apart.
Remove inner pit if needed and discard.
Spoon nut butter into date.
Using a knife chop dark chocolate. Sprinkle overtop of the nut butter.
Sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt. Enjoy!
*Medjool dates are a large variety of date famed for their caramel-like taste, and superbly soft, moist and chewy inner texture. They have a high fructose content, making them pretty sweet. They can be found in the chilled produce section of the supermarket.** Feel free to sub peanut butter for another nut butter of your choice e.g. hazelnut, almond…