I’m traveling to the Middle East next month to visit my family and to meet four newborn babies, including my perfect little nephew. He is just a week old and is already the cutest, most precious baby boy I have ever seen. My daughter is so excited and proud to be a big cousin and we are ready to finally get there to give him sweet cuddles and kisses!
During my trip home last year, I was in the kitchen a lot; helping, watching and learning. I was there for Easter and one of the things my Aunt taught me to make were Crown Date Cookies. They are special non-Paleo treats that we make during resurrection week- you can learn a little more about them here.
Even though Crown Date Cookies are not Paleo, I wanted to apply what my aunt taught me when I got home and so I brought back some packaged pitted baking dates in hopes of recreating her recipe. Unfortunately, months went by and I didn’t end up making the special Easter treats. I needed to use the dates before I traveled again, so I came up with a quick and easy Paleo/Raw Vegan recipe.
I got the inspiration for these Middle Eastern Date and Pistachio Tiny Treats from the ingredients found in the Crown Date Cookies. Rose water, anise, mastic, dates and pistachios are all ingredients found in many Middle Eastern desserts and are what give this recipe its unique flavor. Some of the ingredients may be a bit difficult to find at most grocery stores but they will probably be available at your nearest Middle Eastern market.
These tiny treats came out so delicious, they impressed my husband who said that they taste very Middle Eastern and reminded him of his time there. With 52 calories each, these tiny treats are perfect for a mid-day boost, a pre-workout snack, or when you’re just craving something sweet.
- 1.5 cups or 1.2 pounds pitted *dates (best at room temperature)
- 1.5 cups roasted unsalted shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil plus a little extra to oil hands
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mastic (gum Arabic/plant resin)
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground anise
- pinch of sea salt
- If you are using baking dates, skip to step 4.
- Place your dates in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
- Process until the dates are fine and, somewhat, clumpy and dough-like.
- Slightly chop up the pistachios. The bigger the pieces, the better. (I used a mortar and pestle for this)
- Place all the ingredients into a large bowl.
- Oil your hands with some coconut oil and get ready for the fun part.
- Mix all the ingredients together by hand until well incorporated.
- Scoop “dough” by half tablespoons and roll into little bite-sized balls. (Mine were about 3/4″ in diameter and made 42 treats).
- Store in an airtight container and place in the fridge or freezer.
Since my husband is always asking, I calculated the macronutrients and posted it below.
*Arabic word for dates: tummer