Many of you have mentioned that you enjoy reading my nutrition posts but I just want to remind you that I am not a dietitian and my knowledge about vitamins and minerals isn’t as extended as I hope for it to become. While my diet works for me, I would never recommend for someone to copy my lifestyle as there is no scientific calculation behind what I eat or reason why it should or would work for someone else. One day I overindulge in ice cream and the following day my body compensates by craving vegetables. I might not be the best person to quote nutritional benefits but I do enjoy doing it and I am sure to research my facts before publishing posts. These pointers are written in my own words but are based on knowledge I have learned in school and through nutrition textbooks or cookbooks. So I hope nobody is bothered by the fact that I don’t have a title behind my name but am still going to continue blogging about food and it’s nutrition!
A lot of my recipes surmount as a way to use up expiring ingredients, cravings I have been having, or because I am lacking a particular nutrient in my diet. I bought an abundance of dates back when I was making No-Bake Energy Bites and I’d like to try to use them up before they harden. I’ve tried them in Smoothies as they are wonderful sweeteners, but in all honesty I figured I could better utilize their chewy texture. So I figured why not bake them into cookies because they are soft, moist and sweet. I don’t remember eating that many store-bought cookies as a child because my Mom baked often, but when we would have packaged cookies I really liked Fig Newtons. I suppose I had sophisticated taste buds in comparison to Rainbow Chips Ahoy because they are not only pricier, but also not as eye appealing. Sorry, I didn’t come up with a much more aesthetic or kid-friendly looking recipe but I can promise you they have some nutritional benefits. Not only does this recipe contain wheat bran which is a great source of dietary fiber since it is the outer layer husk of the grain, but more importantly it contains dates.
Did you know Dates contain…
- Vitamin A: While it is a small amount, Dates contain Vitamin A which can help facilitate vision. Vitamin A is also required in maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.
- Dietary Fiber: Dates contain both insoluble and soluble fiber which will help to keep the body feeling fuller and satiated longer. Fiber prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut and can aid with constipation since it is a natural laxativs. Dates also contain Tannins which like Fiber, help to rid the colon of harmful toxins which can reduce the risk of developing an intestinal disorder or cancer.
- Simple Sugars: The simple sugars of dates are easily digested making them a fast source or energy.
- Antioxidant Flavanoids: Dates have many antixodiant flavonoids such as Beta-catotene, lutein and zea-xanthin that protect the bowel from free radicals and toxins. Eating dates has been linked to increased protection from colon, prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers amongst others. Zea-xanthin also protects one’s eyes from age-related macular degeneration since it is a dietary cartenoid that is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea (yellow spot within the eye).
- Iron: Dates are rich in iron which is used in the red blood cells and determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
- Potassium: Consuming dates helps reduce blood pressure as potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids. For this reason Dates also contribute to controlling a healthy heart rate.
- Minerals: Dates contain manganese, copper, magnesium and calcium. Copper increases red blood cell production, Manganese is a co-factor in an antioxidant enzymatic processes, Magnesium is essential for healthy bone growth and Calcium is important for bone growth and strengthening. Calcium is also required for blood clotting, nerve impulse conduction and muscle contraction.
- Vitamin K: Dates are a great source of Vitamin K which serves as a blood coagulant that helps with bone metabolism
- Vitamin B- Complex: Found within Dates, B-complex vitamins metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
When consumed in moderation, Dates definitely make a healthy snack on their own. They’d be perfect for an energy boost mid-day and also contain many cancer-fighting and anti-aging nutrients . These cookies will definitely leave you satisfied because of their fiber content, but don’t lack on flavour because of the filling. I hope you enjoy. ♥ Molly
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.” – Buddha
- 1 ½ cups dates, pitted
- ¼ cup orange juice (½ orange)
- ½ tsp ginger, grated
- 1.5 cups oats, ground in a blender
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup wheat bran
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp water
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the filling by blending together dates, orange juice and ginger in a food processor on high until combined and smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
- Grind the oats into a fine powder using a blender or food processor. Pour into a mixing bowl adding with it, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, baking powder and cinnamon.
- On low speed, beat together dry ingredients while gradually adding in vanilla extract, water, applesauce and maple syrup. A thick, dough like consistency should form.
- On a piece of wax or parchment paper, roll out dough into a rectangle.
- Spoon filling into the centre of your rolled out leaving at least 2 inches on the top and bottom, and ½ inch on each end.
- Using the parchment, fold the top segment of the dough over the top of the filling. Peel back parchment paper to lay flat on the surface of your workspace.
- Using the parchment fold the bottom segment of the dough so that it overlaps with the top segment of dough. Fold in both ends.
- Slice into ½ inch cookies and transfer onto baking pan leave space as the cookies expand slightly.
- Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a chilled glass of milk.