Every Tuesday, the kids and I go to a Mommy and Me type learning session at my friend Debbie's house, where we talk, discussing books on self improvement while the kids play. Debbie usually prepares a little something for us to eat while we talk, usually some baked goods. It is very sweet, but it's hard for my kids, because they see the food and want to eat something, but 3 out of 4 kids of mine can't usually eat it because it is gluten and they, like I, don't eat gluten. So I try to bring along something for my kids to eat while there, so they don't feel they're missing out on something.
This past Monday evening, it was late and the kids were all asleep, and I realized that I didn't have anything gluten free already prepared to bring to Debbie's house. I didn't want to make a big mess in the kitchen, so baking was out, I didn't want to do something that would make a lot of noise which would wake up the kids, so homemade Larabars were out, and I wanted something quick to prepare so I could still go to bed early-ish so I could be well rested in the morning.
Then I remembered something I've seen at a friend's house a while back- a date nut roll, only hers had gluten in it- the dates were mixed with flour or something.
But it inspired me.
I had date paste in the cabinet, and some nuts and seeds as well. I decided to put them together and make a date nut roll. Apparently it is both a Southern American treat, as well as an Indian treat, but the Indian version, khajoor katri, is made with ghee, and therefore dairy, and the American version made with dairy and added sugar. I left out all that, and went with a pure date nut roll.
It was super easy. A bit of date paste (pure pureed pitted dates, no additives- if you don't have that available, just process your whole dates (minus the seeds) until you get a paste- but then it won't be as quiet to prepare), a bit of of nuts, a bit of craisins, and a big of seeds, and voila- date nut roll. Took less than 5 minutes to prepare at night, and a few minutes in the morning to cut it as well.
It was a huge hit. My kids asked me to please make it again and again.
And though it uses nuts, it uses very few, so this recipe is pretty cheap. And can be made with only seeds, no nuts (use sunflower seeds instead of almonds and you're set), so better for allergies and cheaper to boot.
And of course, it is vegan, GAPS legal, Paleo legal, etc... so just an all around perfect treat. Unless you're diabetic or allergic to nuts.
1 lb date paste (or equivalent amount of pureed dates)
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup refined sugar free craisins (or raisins, or leave out)
1 teaspoon ginger (cardamom is also an option)
1/3 cup sesame seeds or desiccated coconut
1. Mix your date paste with almonds, pumpkin seeds, craisins, and ginger. Supposedly you're officially supposed to chop up your nuts first, but it would have made more work and more noise, so I didn't. It didn't cause any problems.
2. Spread your sesame seeds or coconut on a sheet of parchment paper, then form a log/snake with your date/nut mixture, and coat it with your seeds. Use the parchment paper to help form a roll, making it into the shape you want- rounder, more squarish, rectangular, etc...
3. Put your date nut roll, wrapped in parchment paper, in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
4. Remove, unroll, then slice up. I found a non serrated knife to work best for this. Try to do it as thinly as possible.
Ever have or make date nut rolls before? What did you put in it, and how did you make it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?
What would be your go-to recipe for a quick treat when you're short on time, want to make minimal mess, and don't want to make too much noise?