This week I read a small study on date fruits, which have been used in the middle east to prepare women for birth since time immemorial. Even Mary supposedly ate dates to get ready for delivery of Jesus. Who knew…
Either way, the Jordan University of Science and Technology gave 69 pregnant women six date fruits a day for the four weeks before birth. 45 women acted controls and did not get the dates. The results?
The women who ate dates had smoother labor. 96% of their births started naturally (compared to 79% of controls), the date-eaters were more dilated when they came to the hospital and the labor was, on average, SEVEN HOURS SHORTER! They had me at “shorter”. In addition, only 29% of date eaters needed additional prostin/oxycotin to complete labor while 47% of the controls did.
Now this is a small study but the numbers are statistically significant and definitely convincing me to give it a shot. After all, I crave more snacks now and the carb rich dates are full of minerals, vitamins and fibre. Might as well go for six dates a day during my count-down.
I’ve tasted organic dried dates (Brand Urtekram, best for adding to muesli), organic fresh dates (Brand Fontana, creamy texture!) and the super sweet king of dates, organic Medjool dates. The last are most expensive but also most delicious. I need to combine dates with something with fat or protein to lower the blood sugar spike – nuts are a good option. I found a fabulous recipe for date-almond truffles on my favorite food blog, Sprouted Kitchen. You find it, slightly adapted, below.
Dates and nuts chocolate truffles
- 20 Medjool dates (ca 400 g), pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla powder or extract
- 1 deciliter creamy nut butter – I used peanut but almond is great
- 1 deciliter cup unsweetened coconut (can be omitted)
- 1 deciliter good quality natural cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
- 1/2 tsp. salt, I use gray French salt for added minerals
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 dl toasted almonds, well chopped
I placed all ingredients except the toasted almonds in a strong food processer and let it run until there was a nice paste. Rolled small balls (this batch made 30, the batch can be halved) which I pressed into the chopped almonds. Rolling in finely shredded coconut (unsweetened) is also an option. Keeps for a week or more refrigerated, can be frozen.
An excellent, albeit caloric, snack or candy for kids and adults. Tastes positively delicious. As the Medjool dates are so large, I’ve counted each truffle as one date for my “six-a-day”.