There’s something about the holidays that conjures up images of the most mouth-watering recipes and favourite treats. I often hear from clients that they do so well maintaining a healthy diet until the holidays roll around and then they can no longer resist the temptation.
Some people are able to make the conscious decision to indulge and then return to their normal routine without missing a beat – it’s just a part of maintaining balance for them. For many people though, just one meal containing ‘trigger’ foods can result in days of discomfort or a flare up of symptoms associated with a chronic health condition.
So what do you do? Avoiding dairy, gluten, refined sugar or processed foods doesn’t have to mean you’re destined to spend the holidays staring longingly at the dessert table. These Pecan-Praline Clusters are reminiscent of some of my favourite traditional holiday treats, but contain only six ingredients and rely on dates for sweetening. Unlike refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup void of any nutritional benefits, dates contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium (which is crucial for proper function of the nervous system.)
I like having a few batches of these made up to offer company or to take to a party where I know there might not be an option available to me. They are always a huge hit and I guarantee your biggest challenge with this dessert will be keeping them stocked in your freezer!
- 7 dates
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup cashew butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- Soak dates in warm water (ideally do this for a few hours to fully soften dates. Use hot water and soak for half an hour if time doesn’t permit full soaking.)
- Add dates and all other ingredients (except pecans) to high speed blender and blend on high until smooth.
- If using a blender with a pulse option, pulse pecans into mixture until coarsely chopped. (If you do not have the pulse option, coarsely chop pecans by hand and then mix into batter.)
- Drop tablespoon portions onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Put in freezer for 30 minutes or until solid.
- Makes approximately 9 clusters, should be kept in airtight container in freezer.