While I’ve been using medjool dates as pre-run fuel, during runs, and throwing them in my post-workout smoothies forever, I was introduced to Natural Delights Date Rolls (basically mashed dates rolled up with almonds or coconut or pecans). After trying a few of these varieties, I decided to create my own homemade version of them – using chocolate of course! And with success – my homemade variation tastes amazing (if I might say so myself, haha) and they make the perfect pre-run snack – I tested every last one against this claim, to nothing but great results 🙂
Makes 12-15 large bites or 24-30 smaller bites (or rolls)
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I used 3 tangerines)
- 1 Tbsp of orange zest (I grated most sides of the tangerines)
- 1 cup (12-14) medjool dates, pitted
- 2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 cup almonds (or cashews or pecans)
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- additional cacao powder for rolling
- In a pot or pan, heat the orange juice over high heat until it boils. Stir and continue to boil until the orange juice reduces to about just less than half its original volume and looks like honey (is thick like honey too). Remove from heat.
- In a food processor, process the medjool dates with the orange juice reduction, orange zest and maple syrup until smooth and creamy (start with 2 Tbsp maple syrup, add more if necessary to achieve creamy texture). Remove the mixture from the food processor and set aside.
- In the emptied food processor all the almonds and process briefly only until roughly chopped.
- Add the date/orange mix back to the food processor with the chopped almonds and add the cacao powder. Process until combined.
- Roll into balls or rolls (will be sticky) and coat with more cacao powder (mix coconut sugar into the cacao powder for a sweeter coating).
- Chill before serving. Store in refrigerator.
To deliciously healthy food and stronger faster running… Cheers,
Sarah J Cuff, RHN