I don’t think I ever knowingly ate a date until I was in my 30’s (sorry if this is untrue mom but I really don’t remember ever eating one). And now I think it’s safe to say that I eat them pretty much every day.
Dates are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber and super sweeteners for baking, a great caramel substitute, a delicious smoothie addition and add just the perfect amount of sugary flavouring to a coffee-free latte. They are also a great snack for a sweet-tooth like myself and can keep chocolate cravings at bay at least half of the time.
I recently stumbled upon a yummy recipe for date puree that makes the perfect addition to a nutrient-dense muffin. And the most amazing thing about these muffins is that they have absolutely no added refined sugar. None! The homemade date puree provides the sweetness – with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure.
These are not gluten-free but I did use light spelt flour in place of regular flour. Spelt is a distant cousin to wheat that boasts an impressive 7,000 year history and is therefore considered an ancient grain. Dr. Andrew Weil states:
– Spelt requires less fertilizer, and is more resistant to disease and pests than other forms of wheat thanks to its tough outer hull. Spelt provides a broader range of nutrients than other members of the wheat family; it’s high in manganese, vitamin B2, niacin, thiamin and copper
– Because spelt contains less gluten and is more easily digestible than wheat, many people with wheat sensitivities or allergies find that they are able to tolerate it. However, because spelt is a wheat relative containing a moderate amount of gluten, it is always unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, and sometimes even for those with wheat intolerance.
These muffins are delicious but quite dense so they are perfect for a hearty mid-morning or afternoon snack. FYI- I also brought them along in the car for my Dancing Girls and they all loved them!
Chocolate Chip Spelt Muffins (adapted from Refresh, Ruth Tal)
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low heat for approx. 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, place in a food processor or blender and puree. Store in the fridge.
Coconut oil for greasing muffin tins
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly oil 2 regular sized muffin trays with coconut oil.
Stir together the milk, oil, date puree and vanilla.
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add wet ingredients to dry and combine to form a smooth batter.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Bake for 20 minutes. Let muffins cool in the pans before removing from trays. Enjoy!