Thursday, June 14, 2012

It’s a date!

I’ve kind of felt like I’ve flown off the blogging world map this last week!  Before I know it the day is over, the princesses are all tucked into bed and I’ve collapsed on the couch with all but no energy to even move my fingers to type.  So, today I’ve made it my “date” day…this morning I had a “date” at the county assessor’s office to pick up a copy of my birth certificate so I can now get my passport, then I had a “date” with Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute Father’s Day odds and ends (the hubs will no doubt be reading this later, so I can’t reveal my Father’s Day surprise to him just yet…stay tuned!) and now with the princesses all showered and not smelling like the farm they came from, I can finish my “date” with the computer to bring you this post!

Not so surprisingly I am excited to share with you my fun with “dates!” 

Check out the health benefits of dates here!  It’s pretty amazing how rich they are in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for your health.  And I thought I was excited when I discovered what a great natural sweetener they became to my baked goods!  Not only are they helping to add some “sweet” to my treat, but they are also superb in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, and heart problems, just to name a few.

The ever popular Lara Bar fueled my inspiration for these little guys (as I see they have for so many others!).  

DSCN4412 I realize I’m not the first (maybe I’m the millionth) person to create something of the sort, but with the right “tools” (clearly I do not have them) and ingredients you too can have a deliciously healthy Lara Bar-like treat in the comforts of your own home!

Chocolate Rice Crispy Chews

DSCN4416 In the mix:  1 cup dates, chopped; 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa; 2 Tbsp raw honey; 1 cup brown rice cereal (you can replace the cereal with your favorite type of nut).

DSCN4417 In the bowl of your food processor, combine the dates cocoa and honey.  Process until thoroughly combined.  Scoop mixture into a mixing bowl and fold in rice cereal (this will give you quite the arm workout…you can do it!).  Roll into tablespoon sized balls (I found that it helped to put a little water on my hands to keep the mixture from sticking to them).  Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 


While I was in the mode of chopping all those sticky dates, I decided to finish them all off to use in another recipe.  There will come a time when I can yet again create some more Lara Bar-like goodies, but for now my little processor just can’t handle what all these dates have to offer!

DSCN4403 Carrot Date Muffins

(inspired by Simply Sugar and Gluten Free)


1 3/4 cup Pamela’s Baking Mix

2/3 cup almond meal

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp flax meal

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup grated carrots

3/4 cup chopped dates (about 7 or 8)

Cinnamon Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

splash of non-dairy milk

1/4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease or use muffin liners and lightly spray them with cooking oil.

In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice.  Set aside for later use.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours and spices).  Whisk in sea salt and flax meal.

In a medium bowl, beat together oil and maple syrup.  In a small saucepan, or microwave safe bowl, place the milk mixture and water and heat just until warm (don’t let the milk curdle!).  Add the warm milk mixture, applesauce and vanilla to the oil and honey mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Toss the dates with a handful of flour mix so they will not stick together. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together until smooth.  Fold in carrots and dates.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 cup full.  Bake 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, remove and let cool completely on a wire baking rack.

For Cinnamon Glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together.  Once the muffins are completely cool, drizzle about a teaspoon full over each muffin.

DSCN4406 It’s quite a nice surprise when you get a bite with the chewy sweet goodness of a little date inside! 


Nourishing Thought for Today:

This week I’ve been working on my “perspective.”  I’ve come to realize that my way of thinking needs to change and if I simply ask the Lord to help me understand why I think and feel the way I do, He will help me respond and react His way!

And to begin to cultivate this Godly “perspective” that the Lord desires from me, I’ve set a “date” to talk and meet with Him each morning.  A “date” that begins before my feet hit the floor, a “date” to nurture my intimate relationship with Him and to give thanks for the eternal gifts that only He has blessed me with. 

It’s like the light switch has gone on and I can see more clearly now how much God deeply cares about my everyday circumstances (no matter how little or big they are)and attitudes.  I can see more clearly now that…gratitude can...  (source)

My time with the Lord is a “sweet” time, a moment I now long for (like when you were first dating your spouse!) and walk away from with a new perspective on my day and joy in my heart! 

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Make a “date” with Him this week and see how “sweet” your day will become!




  1. question, don't dates have 73 grams of sugar per serving???, how can that be good for you?

    1. Jessica,
      You're right in the sense that dates do contain a lot of sugar (3 dates is about 27 grams of sugar), but so do bananas and grapes! I'd rather be putting a source of natural sugar into my body from something that God intended us to eat rather than something that has been processed!


  2. Your "dates" theme made me laugh. And I was encouraged by your nourishing thought. Been asking God for perspective too lately. What a difference a little Godly perspective has on your attitude, thoughts, and behavior throughout the day.