This blog post is sponsored by California Dates but as always, the opinions and experiences expressed in this post are my own.
Prepare yourself for one hot date. No need to put on fancy shoes or spend an hour fixing your makeup though, because this eligible bachelor appreciates natural beauty, wholesome sweetness, and intelligence more than anything else. Rich, worldly, yet down to earth, its impossible to resist his charm. Ready to swipe right on this man of mystery? Well, I’m actually talking about dates. Whole, fresh dates, a universally beloved fruit with a whole lot of heart.
Though the majority of those found in stores fall into the “soft” category (versus the “semi-dry” and “dry” varieties), not all dates are created equal. Huge disparities in quality exist even within the same cultivar, depending on climate, water, soil, and topography, otherwise known as terroir. Yes, just like wine, California is uniquely suited to grow the very finest Medjool dates, moist, succulent, and honeyed through and through.
California dates add a natural sweetness with a lower glycemic Index than sugar. In fact, California dates are a healthy sugar substitute and can be used cup for cup in cooking and baking. Beyond imparting great taste, dates also add fiber, nutrients and antioxidants and other polyphenols to the diet.
Paying homage to the bountiful state that these fruits call home, I wanted to highlight some of the best that California has to offer, all in one nutritious morsel of sunshine. Beaming with the brilliant color of turmeric, the three official state nuts, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, team up in a chunky, crunchy granola blend. Sweetened entirely with dates, the thick and hearty clusters are equally alluring at breakfast and snack time. Spiced with warming ginger, sensuous cinnamon, and exotic cardamom, each bite takes you on trip straight to the west coast- Or as I like to say, the best coast.
Stay sweet, stay golden, and don’t forget to indulge in a blind date every now and then.
- 1 1/2 Cups Medjool Dates, Pitted and Divided
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
- 1/2 Cup Aquafaba
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats
- 1 Cup Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
- 1/2 Cup Pistachios
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts, Roughly Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Whole Almonds
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Place 1 cup of the pitted dates into your blender along with the coconut oil, aquafaba, and vanilla. Puree on high speed, pausing to scrape down the sides of the canister as needed, until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of dates and place them in a large bowl, along with the oats, cereal, nuts, and spices. Toss to combine, making sure all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Pour the liquid blend into the bowl and stir well, until fully incorporated.
- Distribute the granola evenly between the prepared baking sheets, spreading it into as thin and consistent a layer as possible.
- Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly toasted and dry to the touch. It will get crisper as it cools, so don't panic if it still seems a bit soft fresh out of the oven.
- Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 152mg Carbohydrates: 36g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 20g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g