This recipe is a result of my profound love for dates. I have never really seen them used in granola recipes and thought I would create my own version including fresh medjool dates.
Dates, originally from the Middle East and North Africa, come in all kinds of sizes and shapes. They can be fresh (we don’t really eat much fresh dates in Western countries), soft (outside and inside) or sun dried (hard outside, soft inside). In NYC I get most of my dates from Indian grocery stores in Murray Hill as they have a lot of selection and the prices are the best. My favorite are Medjool dates (they come in large, jumbo an extra jumbo) and they are usually sun dried. I soak them if I use them for baking in order to soften them up. I love their texture and mouth feel the most. Smaller dates are the deglet noor dates that are a little bit lighter in color and taste a little bis sweeter. Finally there is also the Amir Haji date that looks similar in color to the mejool date although a little smaller and rounder. It’s pretty soft inside as well and tastes a little bit more like caramel. I often use it for smoothies.
Honestly, there are many more types of dates but these are the major ones that you can get in the US/Europe and that I use the most. They are amazing when it comes to their nutritional benefits: high in fiber and potassium as well as in natural sugars they are a real power snack. I often eat them when I have a sweet tooth and they are so satisfying. You can also just cut them open, take out the pit and fill them with a spoon of peanut or almond butter. Tastes like fudge – so good!
The cashew date mud – I call it mud because the melted chocolate chips make it look like mud – is great as a snack or as a granola replacement on top of a smoothie (for some added crunch) or simply mixed into almond or soy yogurt for some additional texture and sweetness.
Now check out my recipe and let me know if you like it. Also, do you have any favorite granola recipes?
– 1 cup of Medjool Dates cut into small pieces (make sure they are really soft inside)
– 1/2 raw cashews cut into halves or quarters
– 1/2 raw pepitas
– 1/3 cup of vegan chocolate chips
– 1 tbsp of light agave nectar
– 1 tsp of cocoa powder
– 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
– 1 pinch of cardamon
1. Turn your oven on to 400° F
2. In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips. Stir well until mixed and covered with cocoa powder
3. Take out a baking sheet, cover with parchment paper and disperse your mix on it.
4. Bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes
5. Take out and add chocolate chips and mix well while hot
6. Let it cool off for 10 minutes and enjoy immediately or put into container and into the fridge for later.