Cooking with Medjool Dates: 4 Recipes and Reviews

First of all, my apologies.  I know it’s been a bit since my last post.  You see, I just made the switch from stay-at-home-mom-who-works-nights to stay-at-home-mom.  To say that this has been a huge relief is an understatement.  In other news, I have been catching up on sleep (I have gone from previously getting about 3-4 hours a night to a solid 7-my body is in shock!), organizing and re-organizing my house, and spending more quality time with my kids now that I’m not such a sleep zombie.  The following is a post I actually started about a month ago, but due to the aforementioned events am just getting around to posting now.  Hey, life happens.

Up until about 4 to 5 months back here, I was completely oblivious to the existence of dates.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d heard of dates before, but I’d never eaten one, much less cooked with one.  Since making the switch to a mostly-whole foods lifestyle, I have been actively searching out recipes to make things that I no longer buy from the grocery store.  I end up searching out a lot of snack food recipes, because as anyone with young children knows, they eat A LOT.  So it’s always a good idea to have a plethora of snack options on hand!  And in my search, I kept running across one common ingredient: medjool dates.  I was intrigued (a lot of it had to do with the fact that I had never eaten a date before-don’t judge).  So the next time I ran across them at Costco, I decided to pick up a pack and try out a few new recipes.

For our medjool date experiment, we tried four different recipes: larabar, clif bar, turtle cookies, and date bread.  We had a panel of tough (but fair) reviewers (my kids).  Please see the results of our tasty experiments below.

1.  Coconut Cream Larabar –  Rating: B-

I LOVED this recipe!!  This is a great snack option…the only catch is you have to like coconut, otherwise you won’t like this snack bar!  V, my middle wild-child, could not get enough of this!  T, who is my oldest and also my pickiest eater, wouldn’t hardly try it (something about the texture threw her off).  I didn’t even try giving this to my husband, because he hates coconut.  I know-a man named Coco who can’t stand coconut.  Ironic, no?

This would have rated higher, except I had to deduct a letter grade due to the fact that T and hubster did not like it.  Baby M chowed down on this, but he is not really a good panel judge due to the fact that he likes everything.

v tester

My two trusted taste-testers.

t tester

2. Clif Bar – Rating: A-

This recipe was a winner-even picky T liked it!  It was so easy to make, too.  V and I whipped it up in the blender (have I mentioned how much I like making things in the blender now?) while T was at preschool.  It probably took all of 5 minutes, plus baking time.

The kids all loved it…hubby didn’t even get to try it.

3. Oatmeal Turtle Cookies – Rating: A+

turtle oat

Yum! Don’t those look scrumptious? They smelled and tasted even better!

These were gone in a day! Even my picky hubby, who is the most-resistant to the whole-food lifestyle, liked them!  I didn’t have walnuts on hand as the recipe calls for, so I used almonds instead, and they STILL turned out great!  Rave reviews from all the judges.  Bonus points because they are vegan and gluten-free.

4. Old-Fashioned Date-Nut Bread – Rating: C+

The least favorite of all the judges, including myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but it didn’t knock my socks off.  To make it whole-foods, I subbed the brown sugar for honey (equal parts) and used King Arthur 100% white wheat flour.

Bread before and after baking.

Bread before and after baking.

bread after

I hope you all enjoyed our little cooking adventure with medjool dates as much as we did!  Next cooking adventure will most likely be carrot recipes, as I purchased 10 lbs of organic carrots from Costco and am now in the process of making morning glory muffins, carrot cake oatmeal bake, vegetable broth, etc to use up my carrots!

(In related Costco news, they just announced that they are cutting antibiotics from their meat.  As if I didn’t already love them enough for their amazing organic food selection-go Costco!)


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