As we’re nearing the end of this pregnancy, I’ve been doing a lot of things to prep my body for labor & delivery. This includes lots of walking, lower body exercises, consuming 2 cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day, sleeping as much as I can, hydrating like I’m preparing for a marathon (which I kind of am), and eating dates.
A few weeks ago, my acupuncturist recommend I trade in my sweet tooth (she could tell I’ve been consuming more sugar than normal by the looks of my tongue!) for dates. I had never tried them before yesterday because I wasn’t sure on how to eat them. So I went home looked up some recipes and kind of came up with something of my own. I present to you…BALLS. My first time ever making them and they are delicious. I made them with walnuts, pecans, coconut, dates and sea salt. They’re the perfect combination of sweet and salty.
Not only do they satisfy a sugar craving without consuming any processed sugar, but they also have great benefits in labor and delivery. My acupuncturist sent me this interesting article highlighting the study results on the effects of consuming dates and labor and delivery. Overall, they found that the first phase of labor was shorter for women who consumed dates in late pregnancy compared to those women who did not. Eating dates also lowered your risk of augmentation and induction of labor.
If you’re NOT pregnant, dates are high in protein, vitamins (folate, iron, potassium) and fiber without being high in fat. they also provide a lot of energy because they’re high in good, natural sugar. (Source) Below is the recipe that I used. I suggest pre-soaking your dates in water before you make this recipe because the Vitamix was not a fan of how much power it was going to need to blend these up. Just as I was finishing up, the thermal heat sensor kicked in and it just stopped working. I seriously had a small heart attack because I thought I burned out the motor. We unplugged it and let it sit for about 20 minutes and it’s working good as new. Hallelujah!
Date & Coconut Energy Balls
- 1 cup of walnuts
- 1 cup of pecans
- 1 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 2 cups of SOFT dates, pits removed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil, not melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp course sea salt
In a food processor or high speed blender, add the nuts and coconut until you have a crumbly mixture.
Add the dates, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla and mix until sticky and well-blended. On a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place the rolled balls on there and sprinkle with extra coconut. Place in the freezer until hardened. I kept mine in there overnight and they taste delicious frozen. A perfect frozen treat! I plan on making more of these this weekend so that we have extras to take with us to the hospital.
I’m also enjoying a few dates along side my nightly cup of tea! Hopefully I reap the benefits of these, if not, they are a very tasty snack.
What’s your favorite go-to snack? I’m trying to stockpile some healthy go-to snacks to have on hand when baby arrives, so any recipes/suggestions are appreciated. So far, I have some lactation cookies and date balls in my freezer.