Sweets

Dreamy Stuffed Dates

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo

 

These Dreamy Stuffed Dates taste like a homemade Snickers bar and an Almond Joy had a baby. They’re like a dark chocolate Pecan Turtle with a surprise creamy center. They’re like a bonbon from a box of chocolates, minus the sickeningly sweet and artificially flavored cream filling. 

But really, they don’t need to be compared to a mere substitute for store-bought candies. These Dreamy Stuffed Dates can stand on their own just fine. And unlike some other “healthy candy bar” recipes out there, these take 20 minutes to throw together, instead of all day. Easy peasy. 

One of the key ingredients in the filling is coconut manna, sometimes called coconut butter. Coconut manna is a different product than coconut oil, coconut cream, or coconut milk — so substituting any of those, unfortunately, won’t work here. 

However, I can assure you that if you don’t already have some in your pantry, coconut manna is a welcome and versatile addition that won’t go to waste. It makes a regular appearance in paleo treat recipes, and can also be stirred into sauces, curries, soups, and smoothies. In fact, you could skip the extra steps in this recipe and just slather a bit of melted coconut manna onto a date and call it delicious. There are so many ways to use it, and all of them good. 

Coconut manna is made from the fresh meat of the coconut, which is lightly dried and then ground into a smooth paste. It’s more crumbly than nut butter (unless it’s warmed), but the general idea is the same. 

The most seductive thing about coconut butter/manna is that it has a luscious melt-in-your-mouth quality that is unlike any other food. In these Dreamy Stuffed Dates, I combined it with a touch of maple syrup and a few pecans to make a nougat-like center. Then I stuffed that “nougat” into sticky Medjool dates. Next, I laid a pecan half on top of each for extra crunch. Finally, a drizzle of melted chocolate to top things off. Use a little, use a lot, or skip the chocolate altogether. Do whatever you fancy — you can’t go wrong. 

If you’ve been around Thyroid Refresh a while you won’t be surprised that I sprinkled the tops with sea salt. Guess I’m predictable like that, but truly, follow your bliss. And know that these treats are free of gluten, dairy, soy, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors, or any of the other questionable ingredients we eat when we fall prey to the mass-produced candy in the grocery store checkout line. 

While these Dreamy Stuffed Dates definitely fall into the “treat” category, if you’re going to indulge, might as well make it work for you, rather than against. Give these a try, and you’ll be able to look that candy bar in the eye next time you find it calling to you, and say, “Nah, I have a better idea.”

Here’s some info about the thyroid-healthy ingredients in this recipe:

5 from 2 votes

Dreamy Stuffed Dates

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo

Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 16 Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut manna/butter
  • 32 pecan halvesdivided
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dairy-freesoy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Flaky sea saltoptional

Instructions

  1. With a small paring knife split the dates along one side, lengthwise, and carefully remove the pit, leaving the rest of the date intact.
  2. In a small food processor combine coconut manna, 16 pecan halves, a pinch of fine sea salt, and the maple syrup. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse paste.
  3. Stuff mixture into dates, distributing evenly among the 16. They should be pretty full so that the dates are open on top, like a baked potato. Top each with 1 of the remaining pecan halves, lightly pressing them into the filling.
  4. Place dates on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. In a small microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave on high at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is fully melted. Drizzle atop dates, according to your preference.
  6. If desired, sprinkle tops with flaky sea salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is set and enjoy!
  7. May be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Nutritional Info Print
Nutrition Facts
Dreamy Stuffed Dates
Amount Per Serving
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 368mg11%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 75IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.