Date Coconut Logs: Looks like a “Log”, Tastes Great

I have no idea what started my recent obsession with date and coconut logs/balls.   I vaguely recall these from my childhood, not from eating them, but rather eyeing them warily on the buffet at neighborhood events.  I am pretty sure my grandmother would put these out when we visited, but I know for sure I never touched them; they looked foreign and unappealing compared to M&M’s and Hershey Kisses.  Man, I had crappy taste as a kid.

Anyway, once I discovered that these actually taste good, I found it hard to stop eating them.  These treats are sweet without putting me into a glucose coma.  I also like that they are filling; it makes it easy to stop after a few rather than graze on a dozen.

Outside of flavor, I was interested in this snack for nutritional reasons.  Dates contain several important minerals: iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.  However, it is the dates’ fiber content caught my eye, or rather, more accurately, my colon. I have never enjoyed the taste of prunes and dates supposedly serve the same purpose: to relieve constipation.  As anyone with celiac knows, constipation is common and the prevention of it can taste like crap, pun intended.

Coconut is another nutritional powerhouse.  According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut is really good for the skin and is lower in calories than any other fat.  Coconut also helps with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  Again, this can be really helpful for those suffering from celiac, especially those with new diagnosis, where the intestines are just beginning to heal and need all the help they can get in absorbing vital nutrients.

This recipe is simple and easy to make.  These are also great to make with children, since no baking or cooking is required.  These may be rolled into logs or balls.  I like shaping them into logs because then I can make obscene poop jokes while rolling these out, I especially like to sing the Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo song.

1 lb. dates

2 cups coconut (toast lightly or don’t, it’s up to you)

1. Start by removing the pits from the dates.

Left: using a small paring knife, cut into the center and pop out the pit. Right: rolling into logs.

2. If you are using large coconut flakes, pulse them in the food processor to cut them down quickly and easily (about 30 seconds).

3. Pulse the dates until they are broken down a little and stick together easily, about 1.5 – 2 minutes.

4. Roll the date mixture between your palms, by the heaping tablespoon.  Shape into a log.

5. Roll in coconut.

And voila, a health conscious dessert as satisfying as a cookie without the guilt.

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