Today you'll get two recipes for desserts designed to satisfy your sweet tooth without endangering your bones and spiking your blood sugar.
That's possible thanks to the power of their shared ingredient: dates. Before you get to make these no-bake treats, we'll take a closer look at four health benefits of these sweet fruits.
Sweet Fruits That Don't Spike Your Blood Sugar
Dates have been used as food for over 6,000 years! But we're still discovering incredible facts about these fruits. In a study of five different varieties of dates, researchers examined the effects of consuming a quantity of dates that added up to 50g of carbohydrates on participants with and without Type 2 diabetes.
They found that in both groups, participants' blood glucose levels did not change significantly as a result of eating the dates, no matter which variety of date they consumed.1 That may be surprising if you're a date-lover since you know how sweet and delicious they are.
Dates have a low Glycemic Index (GI), which means that their carbohydrates (including sugar) are more slowly digested than those in other foods with the same quantity of carbohydrates. That slowing down of the digestion of the sugars in dates means that even though they contain enough sugar to be sweet, they won't spike your blood sugar levels with a sudden rush of glucose. This is especially important for diabetics who monitor their blood sugar levels, but spikes in blood sugar are bad for everyone. They cause lethargy and hunger, and over time they can increase the risk of developing diabetes. A spike in glucose, and the spike in insulin that follows, can also increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and dementia.2,3,4
Studies on dates have found that they do not cause a spike in blood glucose levels, even though they're quite sweet. That trait gives them a low glycemic index. Spikes in blood sugar cause lethargy and hunger and may increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and dementia.
A High Fiber Fruit
Part of what gives dates their low Glycemic Index is their high fiber content, since fiber slows the digestion of carbohydrates. A single 3.5 ounce serving of dates contains nearly seven grams of fiber. Fiber is also anti-inflammatory, offering wide-ranging benefits, including for bone health. Additionally, fiber improves digestive health.
A study conducted at Boston University found that a high fiber diet results in less bone loss than a low fiber diet. That's a great reason to stock up dates!5
Dates are an excellent source of fiber, which is why they have a low glycemic index. Additionally, fiber is anti-inflammatory, good for digestive health, and helps prevent bone loss.
A Bountiful Source Of Foundation Supplements
Dates contain no less than eight Foundation Supplements. Here's a list of those essential nutrients:
In addition, just four dates contain as much potassium as two whole bananas and they're also an excellent source of iron and of proteins not found in many other popular fruits.
That's why we made dates a central ingredient in these no-bake dessert recipes! Both are gluten-free and have no added sugar. Additionally, they contain almond flour and almond butter, which further helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
No-Bake Strawberry-Banana Chocolate Tart
For the date crust
- 1½ cups (about 15) Medjool dates, pitted
- 1½ cups almond flour
For the filling
- ⅓ cup almond milk (or your favorite dairy-free alternative)
- 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 1 large ripe banana, sliced
- 1-pint strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup walnuts or pecans chopped
- Lightly spread a little oil of your choice on a 14×5″ rectangular tart pan or 9″ round tart pan.
- Place the dates in a blender or food processor, and pulverize until it becomes doughy. Note: if dates are dry, soak them in water for a few minutes before blending. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the almond flour.
- Press the almond date dough evenly along the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan.
- Place the chocolate chunks into a heat-proof bowl. Heat the milk until just simmering and pour it over the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes or two. Stir until smooth, and spread the chocolate evenly over the crust.
- Arrange the banana and strawberry slices over the chocolate, and sprinkle the walnuts or pecans over the fruit.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
No-Bake Sweet Potato Cookies
Servings: 14 cookies
- 2/3 cup Medjool dates pitted, softened in water
- 4 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (replace with cinnamon, if preferred)
- Add softened dates to a blender or food processor and process on high speed until they form a paste. Add the almond butter, sweet potato, and vanilla, and blend again. Then add the coconut flour and nutmeg (or cinnamon), and process/pulse until the mixture forms a thick cookie dough.
- Shape the dough into small balls, place them on a cookie sheet, and flatten each one into the shape of a cookie.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to achieve a firmer texture or you can enjoy them right away.
What This Means To You
These recipes are fun to make, decadent to enjoy, and sure to delight whoever's plate they land on. Whether you're attending a summer picnic, or just want to do something special for yourself, these recipes will fit the bill.
You can get more bone-healthy recipes in the Save Institute's cookbook Bone Appétit. There, you'll find recipes for more desserts, along with simple instructions for bone-building breakfasts, lunches, dinners, smoothies, snacks, and more.
Bone Appétit will show you that following a bone-healthy diet can be delicious, rewarding, and simple. Enjoying your food is part of enjoying your life, and you deserve the best of both!
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!