Before we get to the recipe, you should know I can’t recall the last time I ate a Snickers candy bar. It was surely decades ago, long before Celiac disease and food allergies became a part of who I am. I’ve told you before I’m not a big fan of dessert, but that is not the case with the rest of my family. For them, dessert is an essential part of the daily intake.
Sometimes, that dessert is a rich fudge brownie or a couple of homemade cookies or even a slice of moist, gluten-free cake, but most of the time, it is something with a little nutrition behind it, a healthier bite. After all, in the interest of our philosophy of balance and moderation on a whole foods, naturally gluten-free diet, treats like this one are a better choice than a processed sugar bomb when the sweet tooth strikes. And these Healthy “Snickers” Minis are indulgent enough to satisfy with a single treat. Not to mention, they are SO easy to make.
Now, before you tell me you had a Snickers bar just yesterday and that you know exactly how it tastes and that this will taste nothing like it, well, you may be right. You may also be on the wrong website, unless you’re looking for an intervention. ;) (Would we call that a “Snicker-vention”?)
Of course, if you’re not eating Snickers bars, but are often in search of a sweet that doesn’t leave you feeling like you just blew it nutritionally, I have a solution you can feel pretty good about… Healthy “Snickers” Minis. Oh yeah!
And check out how elegant this healthy indulgence looks on the Peony plate from Q Squared NYC…perfect for spring!
I based this little creation on flavor (with the help from those who have eaten a Snickers bar more recently than I), texture (chewy, semi-gooey, crunchy) and the use of healthy ingredients that bring nutrients to the party. When it’s time for a chewy, chocolate-y, “nutty” sweet treat, this is one you can feel good about enjoying.
Healthy “Snickers” Minis
- 6 Medjool dates, split lengthwise, pit removed
- 6 teaspoons (approximate) sunflower seed butter (homemade – make your own – or organic, no-sugar-added) OR your favorite all-natural nut or seed butter
- 6 teaspoons (approximate) unsalted, toasted sunflower seed kernels (see how to toast sunflower seeds) OR an equal amount of your favorite nuts, chopped
- Chocolate Coating Option 1:
- Melt 4 Tablespoons gluten-free, allergen-free chocolate with 1 teaspoon fat (like coconut oil, dairy-free butter substitute or butter); stir until smooth, then dip the dates or drizzle chocolate coating over the top, OR
- Chocolate Coating Option 2: (pictured, and my preference)
- Combine 3 Tablespoons coconut oil with 2 Tablespoons honey and about 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder; melt gently over low heat and whisk until smooth. (This option can be adjusted to your tastes, so add less honey if you like, or substitute maple syrup, etc. Also, this is much thinner than Option 1, but a healthier alternative.)
- Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Dates should be room temperature.
- Place split dates on cookie sheet and pipe about 1 teaspoon of the sunflower seed butter into the center of each date. (See picture collage above. Place sunflower seed butter in a piping bag with a medium-opening round tip, or place in a plastic zip top disposable bag and snip off the end for a disposable piping bag.)
- Top each with about ¾ teaspoon toasted sunflower seeds (I save a few seeds to sprinkle on top at the end, but if you prefer, just use an entire teaspoon in this step.)
- Place dates in freezer to chill 10 minutes while you prepare the chocolate coating.
- Dip dates or spoon coating over dates on lined cookie sheet. (When using Option 1, I dip the dates; when using Option 2, I spoon the coating over since it is quite thin.)
- Sprinkle remaining toasted sunflower seed kernels over the top, if desired.
- Chill the dates about 5 minutes, then repeat chocolate coating, if desired. (When using Option 1, I do not repeat; when using Option 2, I spoon a bit more coating over, again, because it is thin.)
I store these in the fridge, so do so if you like them chilled, but do not freeze.
Makes 6 Healthier “Snickers” Minis treats.
Nutrition Information: I do not provide nutrition information for recipes; however, if you are interested in this information, you can calculate it yourself by calculating the nutrition info for the entire recipe based on the ingredients you use, then dividing by the number of servings the recipe makes. Or use an online app that provides nutrition info.