The Medjool dates have a history as rich as their sweet, nutty flavour, being one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits.
Tracing back to the Middle East and North Africa, the dates were once only reserved for royalty, and the palms on which the fruit grew were used by kings as a symbol of victory. The date palm was both a decadent fruit and a source of life in the desert: providing shelter and being used as material for making household items such as mattresses and rope.
The introduction of the Medjool date to the western world occurred when disease almost wiped out the trees in Morocco and to save them from extinction, eleven date palms were sent to the United States. As the western world’s enchantment with the Middle East and in particular, the Arabian Nights grew during the 20th century, so did the Medjool’s popularity. In 1904, California even started an attraction that mimicked the streets of Arabia with camels, bedouin tents, harems and of course the Medjool dates.
Today, the popularity of the fruit is on the rise once more as a healthier way to satisfy that sweet tooth. Being rich in vitamins and nutrients including fiber, vitamins A and B, magnesium, and calcium, the date is known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as aid with poor digestion. As with all good things though, moderation is key, dates can be high in fat so it's best not to eat too many in one sitting. However, the recipe below will make that difficult to do.
Love Potion Truffles
Vegan chef Aleksandra Winters from Olenko’s Kitchen shares a magical recipe full of natural goodness for the launch of The Lovepost. There’s nothing better than some Love Potion Truffles to help sweeten our hearts and minds.
“These truffles are a huge hit in my house, and they are so easy to make. Watch out, though—they have special love powers.”
- 3 cups Medjool dates
- 1/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped or smashed with fork
- Almonds, hazelnuts, or shredded coconut can be used instead of walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw cacao butter
- 1/2 cup raw coconut oil
- 2 cups cacao powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Pinch of pink Himalayan crystal salt
- 1 teaspoon chaga mushroom powder (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons lucuma powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon reishi powder (optional)
- 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon medicinal vanilla or vanilla extract
Truffles: Process the dates in a food processor and then add the other truffle ingredients. Form the mixture into truffle-sized balls using your hands.
Raw Chocolate: Melt cacao butter and coconut oil on very low heat, about 105–110°F. Use a double boiler to temper the chocolate. Add cacao powder and mix slowly with a wooden spoon. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and keep mixing until perfectly smooth. Coat the truffles in raw chocolate and then place them on a plate so the chocolate can set. You can put them in the freezer for 5–10 minutes, and then dip them again for an extra-thick chocolate coating! Store in a glass container in the fridge for up to three weeks.
For more vegan delights explore Olenko's Kitchen