Yummy Easy Healthy Treats

When I was in the hospital after delivering Mackenzie, the food was beyond gross. I survived on fresh fruit that Scott brought me from home, and these yummy treats called “Date Nut Pop ’ems” that a co-worker sent me in a care package.

I got hooked.

The beautiful thing about them is they have no added sugar or oil and yet they are sweet and filling. The ugly thing about them is they cost $15.95 + shipping for a 1 lb container online. That is an addiction I just couldn’t justify. I should note that I also suffered during pregnancy from (among other things) a fierce addiction to Larabars. They are nearly $2 a bar.

Something had to be done.

So, I took a closer look at the ingredients lists. Dates, various kinds of nuts and seeds, and various kinds of spices. Hmmm…

Scott found a 2 lb tub of dried dates at Costco for $6.49. Almonds and walnuts are $3.50-$4.50 a lb at Costco. Raw sunflower seeds at Trader Joes? Just $1.49 a lb.

And so an idea was born and I am proud to say… I’ve perfected a yummy snack full of only healthy things for about 1/4 of the cost! (And my sweet husband insists mine taste better).

I’ve found in my experimenting that the “recipe” is very forgiving. It would probably accommodate different kinds of nuts and seeds just fine, and the texture is a personal preference. Scott likes his a bit more coarse and less date-y than I like mine. But here is a great starting point:

1 c. almonds
1 c. walnuts
1/2 c. raw shelled sunflower seeds
10 dried medjool dates, pitted

Put the nuts and seeds in a food processor and let it go 30-60 seconds depending on the texture you’d like. Scott likes 30 seconds, but 60 seconds will make it smoother and easier to shape into balls.

30 seconds still has nut chunks:

60 seconds leaves it smoother, almost like a nut butter:

Add the dates and cinnamon. 1 tsp for “plain” treats and 1 1/2 TBS for cinnamon-y treats. You can also add 1 TBS of cocoa powder at this point for a REALLY decadent treat. Those are too rich for Scott but oh-so-delicious and a perfect chocolate fix for me.

Food process for another 10-20 seconds or so, until everything is well-incorporated.

It should start sticking together some:

Then wash your hands and make balls! I have a one-handed technique that works well for me, but the idea is just to smoosh and shape and how you handle the smooshing is up to you. 🙂

Ta-da! ~30 date nut balls that are perfect for a quick snack.

Interestingly enough, two of my other favorite snacks made their way into the photo. Fresh pineapple and sweet peppers from Costco. Yum!

I make two batches of the date nut pop ’ems and store them in a tupperware in the fridge.


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in Healthy Eating, Recipes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Yummy Easy Healthy Treats

  1. DaveA says:

    Anne hooked me up on dgrin with these and folks, it’s no exaggeration! These are ridiculously good, and healthy too. I’m not even a fan of dates and I love these. Do yourselves a favor and make a batch, you’ll see. Oh, and definitely go for the cocoa version! 🙂


  2. mary says:

    these remind me a little of our favorite fig bars….similar ingredients, different execution…I’m having so much fun reading your blog…if you can’t tell.


  3. Marian says:

    You have no idea how glad I am I found this post! A few weeks ago I tried my first “Date Nut Pop-em”, ordered from Dr. Fuhrman’s site. I’d just read his book Eat to Live, and I wanted a healthy treat for my kids. We all loved them when they came, but did not love the $16 we had to pay for each tub. My mom said that we should be able to come up with a recipe after a little experimenting, and I decided to google “raw date nut balls” to see if I could come across a recipe to start with. I found 3 different recipes to try, and then I came across this post. Lo and behold, someone had already done the experimenting for me! You have no idea how excited I was. I made a batch the next day, and now I always have a tupperware of them in the fridge. My kids love them (me too) and I feel so wonderful every time I give them one, knowing they are so healthy. Anyway, you probably didn’t want to read such a long comment from someone you don’t even know, but I just had to let you know how much I appreciated this post. Also, just as a funny side note, while I was reading your post, and some other ones about your healthy lifestyle, I was thinking, this girl sounds LDS (I am LDS), so I kept reading and found a post that said “our old house in Provo, and then one that said something about Deseret Book, so I knew I was right! Thanks for all your great recipes.

    Marian Stewart


  4. Sara says:

    Just Delicious!!!!


  5. Melony says:

    I so love the looks of this treat. One of my favorite sweet snacks is a handful of dates. This sounds so good. I was just surfin for a yummy raw vegan treat for me and the kids.


  6. Maegan says:

    These treats are fabulous. I wanted to try them from Dr. Furhman’s web site also but did not want to pay that price. Glad I found your site! I added cashews too and that worked out nice. THANKS so much.


  7. Sheldon says:

    oooh. I need to try this. I have another recipe for date balls but I love the simplicity of yours much better!


  8. Pingback: The Life of Sconica » Blog Archive » Feeding the Family Everything but Frostbite

  9. brandie says:

    This was the first recipe off of your site I’ve tried (with the exception of one for homemade dough conditioner)and I am SOOOO glad I stumbled upon you! These treats are so delicious, and I feel so healthy when I eat them. My 4yo DS loves them. I have a major chocolate/sugar addiction I am struggling with, and this is the perfect sub I need. There is a company (Betty Lou’s) in my hometown that makes a treat called Golden Smackers that are similar to yours but they cost about $1.50 per, and they are only a little bit bigger than the size of a walnut in its shell. Your treats are economical and much tastier, with less ingrediants. I’ve found that tossing in a handfull of raisins make them a little bit sweeter and they hold together a bit better. Anyhoo, thanks for all the awesome info, look forward to even more recipes. You are doing a great job educating folks on a healthier lifestyle. 🙂


  10. Liz says:

    So excited to find this recipe and your website. I buy the exact thing from my local health food shop at $45.00 per kg. This is a fraction of the cost & I am going to experiment with some of everyone’s suggestions thanks


  11. Dave says:

    You could try adding honey to them too.. I’m about to try that.


  12. connie says:

    I’ve made these for quite a while. I use dates, mission figs (keeps the balls moist), walnuts, cinnamon). After forming the balls, try rolling them in wheat germ … it gives you a little more nutrition and keeps your fingers from getting sticky!


  13. Just what really influenced you to publish “Yummy Easy
    Healthy Treats | Adventures in Beanland”? I reallyhonestly adored the blog post!
    Thank you -Rhea


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  15. Pingback: Calories: How to Care without Counting | Adventures in Beanland

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