Poppable Protein Bars

Marlenea La Shomb, N.D., P.Tr.
Mar – Apr 2024 • Vol 4, No 9

There are over 40 different kinds of dates that grow all over the world, in a variety of colors: red, golden, blue, purple, with different textures, sweetnesses, and chemical compositions, therefore carrying each their own set of health benefits. Locally, most people are familiar with the medjool dates (very sweet), and baking dates (less expensive) for all other recipes, including this one.

Many people say, “I eat a banana a day because I was told I need potassium.” But did you know that, while bananas ARE a source of potassium, dates, by weight, have 50% MORE potassium than bananas? AND dates activate more happy hormones than chocolate, but without the calories. (See my article in the March–April 2023 issue of this magazine on: Finding What Switches On Your Happy Hormones.)

Dates pack a big nutritional punch! Here are some of the many health benefits of dates:

  • Improve gut health and heart health
  • Keep blood-sugar levels steady. Dates are considered a low-glycemic index food, helpful for diabetics.
  • Lower (LDL) cholesterol levels
  • Keep your weight levels steady
  • Full of antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals
  • Protects against cataracts
  • Boost brain health in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Assists with natural childbirth (used in other countries)
  • Anti-aging benefits for your skin, due to their abundant phytohormones

Looking to eat less sugar? Dates are a more nutritious substitute for candies and chocolate chips in dessert recipes. Make a Sweet Date Paste by mixing dates with water in a blender. To use it as a sugar substitute, swap it at a 1:1 ratio. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1 cup of date paste instead.

Add dates to balance out savory dishes as in this recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Dates.

Recipe: Date • Apricot • Almond Poppable Protein Balls

  • 4–6 dates
  • Dried apricots (1 cup)
  • Soaked, drained & rinsed (sprouted) almonds (1 cup)
  • A little maple syrup (opt.)

Slip the almond skins off between your thumb and fingers. Put in a food processor. Add in dried calendula flowers, roman chamomile flowers, or dried dandelion flowers to add color, flavor and nutrients (optional). Pulse it. (You can leave it chunky or process it to a smooth texture.) Form into balls. Roll in dried coconut. For a zestier taste, roll in dried orange-peel powder with coconut sugar.