Phew, 2015 was quite the year! 2015 started with fireworks in Cairns, Australia and ended in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I quit my job, started a new job, bought my first car, and moved (again). I started this blog, went backpacking in Kauai, made the decision to be vegetarian, and competed in my first bike race (ever). I got to see the Redwoods, the Great Barrier Reef, and the St. Louis Arch all in the same year. I’m thankful for my health, my friends and family, and having a career that lets be do all these things.
Hiking in Kauai, Hawaii. The 12 Apostles at sunrise after driving along the Great Ocean Road. The Redwoods in northern California.
So what will 2016 bring? The answer is, I really don’t know. I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I try to set a new goal for myself. Last year I wanted to complete my first half ironman. I did that – and I’d have to say, it might be my last. In 2016, I want to read more, focus on bike racing, and invest more time into Dana’s Edible Affair. If I had a single goal, I would say that I would like to perfect my pecan pie recipe. The last time I made pecan pie it didn’t bind and I created a sloppy (delicious, but sloppy) mess.
I also decided that in 2016 I need to step my snack game up, so these date blueberry bites are a product of my love of dates and all things portable. The pistachios and coconut downplay the sweetness of the dates and blueberries so you don’t feel like you’re eating candy. I often find that sometimes when I use dried fruit for bars or snacks it’s a little too sweet for me. I’m also considering adding some oats to this recipe in the future for a more hearty, bike portable snack. Stay tuned, folks. Vegan butternut lasagna is also on the soon to be test kitchen-ed list. YUM.
These date bites are also great if you made a resolution to eat less sugar. Yes, there is agave in this recipe to help bind the mixture but it’s a heck of a lot better than most things coming out of a package. These are also great as an on the go breakfast, paring well with oatmeal or an apple. I would recommend eating them within 2 weeks after making and storing in the fridge so they don’t get too gooey at room temperature. I also use parchment paper to separate the layers so they don’t stick together. Lastly, I recommend making these little guys in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender or Vitamix but know that they bites might be a bit chunkier and you won’t be able to reach the same consistency as with the food processor.
Date Blueberry Bites
Servings: 18 bites
Time: 1 hr, includes chill time
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1/3 cup dried blueberries
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 3 TBSP blue nectar agave syrup (you may use honey if you are not vegan)
- Put all dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse until dates begin to form a paste. You should still be able to see bits of the pistachios and maybe the coconut but if he pieces are smaller they will stick together better once the agave is added.
- Add agave and pulse until combined. It should take a couple pulses to blend the mixture together. Remove the mixture from your food processor or blender. Cover the mixture with saran wrap and place in the fridge to chill for about 40 minutes. The chilling will make the mixture less sticky and easier to roll into bites.
- After 40 minutes has passed, remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into 1 TBSP sized balls. You should end up with about 16-20 bites depending on how big a “TBSP” is to you. Store bites in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, using parchment paper to separate the layers so they don’t stick together.