Thursday, February 07, 2013

Date and Nut snack- Clean eating

Making a move towards clean eating or healthy sounds idealistic, but in reality, sometimes the going is tough. 
I admire people who have it in them to give up carbs ( except for  an occasional indulgence, maybe once a month! ) and  never to eat any sugar or sweet. 
I get on that bandwagon only to get off after a short while. I cannot give up  carbs, I try to increase other crucial components, but I crave those comfort foods I grew up eating.
Maybe it just needs a lot of willpower and perseverance and patience. 

I am taking baby steps. I have cut down my sweet intake and make something occasionally. I do not deep fry, unless it is Diwali or a birthday. We do not bring any biscuits ( or cookies, as they are called here), this was a sacrifice for me as I do like something to dip in my tea. My son gets to eat some of course. 

What I find difficult to give up is bread. I love bread and how handy it is to have a loaf at hand. 
And rice. Nothing is as comforting or satisfying as soft, fluffy, steam-rising out of it rice. 

And what I have difficulty accepting is tofu. I sigh every time I think of all these things.

Snacking is inevitable. I do it unknowingly, I walk past the pantry, spy something on the shelf and pop it in my mouth, continue doing what I was doing. 

 Sonali made this snack and shared it with me. Her son is very fond of it and she makes it very often.
One bite convinced me that I had to make it! 
Dates, nuts and some dessicated coconut, of course you want to make it and eat it! And it is healthy too. Dates are full of vitamins and minerals, fiber, rich in iron an tasty to boot. 

This was something I used to eat during Diwali as a child. Does anyone remember those dates stuffed with nuts and wrapped in  bright yellow /red/ blue crinkly plastic wrap? The ones we used to get in Diwali Hampers with  other nuts and dry fruit and Pista biscuits? This is a somewhat elaborate (if you can call it that) method of making the same thing.


This is a very forgiving recipe and can be molded to suit your taste. Making it is easy and quick.

I used a tub of pitted Mejdool dates, the 2 lb. one most commonly found in stores.

You need:
1 tub Dates
1/2 cup mixed nuts ( Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios - all or any combination, do try not to skip the Almonds though)
1 Tbsp Ghee
2-3 pinches Cardamom powder 
Dessicated coconut - as required
Saran Wrap

Place the dates in the food processor ( with the chopping blade) and give it a whirl, the date should be chopped in small pieces. Remove and set aside.

Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast the nuts in the oven at 250 deg. F for 10 mins. They should be warm and toasty, not brown. Be careful.
Alternatively you can toast them on a skillet on low heat over the stove.
Cool the nuts and pulse them in the food processor. Do not powder, leave the nuts chunky (ignore the fact that I blitzed the nuts a bit too much in my food processor)
Toasting the nuts is optional, according to a friend of mine. She recommends using slivered almonds available in most stores. 

Heat ghee, on medium, in a deep skillet or a kadhai. Add the dates and the nuts and mix well to incorporate the nuts as evenly as possible. Switch off the heat and add the cardamom powder, mix well again. Let the mixture cool down.

Cut a large square piece of Saran Wrap and place it on the counter-top and spread a layer of the dessicated coconut. Take a third of the dates mixture in your hand and while the mixture is slightly warm, make a log of it and place it on the coconut and roll it to coat evenly. Now, cover the roll with saran wrap and make a log and twist the ends . 
Make similar 'logs' of the remaining mixture.
Place all the logs in the fridge for about 2-3 hours to firm up.
Remove from the fridge, and carefully peel off the wrap.
Using a sharp serrated knife, slice the 'log' in to even pieces.
Store in a container and eat as and when you want.


You won't be able to stop at one piece, I bet!

Reminder:


Have you read about the contest and exciting giveaway I am hosting? The contest is open to all bloggers in the USA and India and there are gift cards to be won ( Amazon and Flipkart). Moreover, it is also another excuse for us foodies to test something in our kitchens and share it with  our family and (virtual) friends! 

The contest is open until Feb-14 Midnight PST to share some culinary gems with me and other bloggers and readers. 
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26 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Akila.
      I have a request to you,if you have an ongoing event you would like me to participate in, please leave me a message, do not add links to your comments, any thing with links is treated as spam.

      Delete
  2. The Date n Nuts recipe is so nice that I couldn't wait to prepare after reading, it was so nice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! your feedback is very valuable to me.

      Delete
  3. I controlled my sugar intake last month as during Christmas time I ate like a pig. Since then it's moderate....This looks so good and healthy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deepa, it is a healthy treat. It satisfies my sweet craving and gives me energy too :)

      Delete
  4. Changing eating habits are really tough, simple thing as cutting down sugar seems like an uphill task!
    This is a super power packed snack!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me it is Gauri. I try and keep sliding off track. I like this treat as it is sweet without being harmful.

      Delete
  5. Looks divine!!! Nice presentation ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, I remember those dates with nuts wrapped like chocolate. Recently my aunt gifted me those and those black dates tasted awesome. You date roll looks divine, it is a good energy snack and can be had during upvas too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, those are still available! how nice of your aunt to get you some. Apart from being healthy, they make me nostalgic too :)

      Delete
  7. I remember those dates stuffed with nuts! They were delicious but your snack looks far more amazing. And reading your narrative on snacking and the battle to stay away from carbs was like reading about myself. Desi, who has amazing self-control, is always wondering why I have to pop every food I touch into my mouth-- well, a little bit at a time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. My mom makes almost similar snack, but without coconut and with little more ghee!! And my brother came yesterday with mom made Khajur!!! After seeing your pic i must now rush to kitchen and have a bite of it :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh lordy, Manasi, I SOOOOOOOOO know what you mean about bread and rice being the ultimate comfort foods - rice even more than bread. White rice, not brown. *sigh* It's so very difficult to keep away from carbs. I'm trying, but I fall off the wagon too many times to count!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The first picture is mind blowing.lovely cliks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks very yummy. I have been wanting to make these for my children for a long time and was looking out for a good recipe. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Looks yummy and neatly presented..First time here and happy to follow you..
    I am also lucky to have Ashraf as my tutor..

    ReplyDelete
  13. My aaji used to make something like this and I make date nut ladoos .. This snack looks very tempting .

    ReplyDelete

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