BANANA AND DATE COOKIE DOUGH BITES

Easter is here and it's time to enjoy some chocolatey goodness! People are always surprised when I tell them that a little sweetness has its place in Ayurveda, but it does and this recipe is proof. If you have East by West, you may have noticed a bit of a typo: you don't need a dump truck of dates — about 7 dried ones will suffice! These indulgent yet super nutritious cookie dough bites, naturally sweetened with banana and date, are the perfect way to start your lunch — they are sure to be a hit with grown-ups and kids alike. And you get bonus points for making your kitchen smell heavenly!

 
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For an added twist to celebrate Easter weekend, I decided to shape the cookie dough into mini Easter eggs. I'm quite sensitive to caffeine so just dipping the tops into good quality chocolate gives me the kick I need without any of the weird buzz.

 
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Makes 18

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe medium bananas (each around 150g peeled)
  • 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 125g (1½ cups) desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 65g (scant ½ cup, and not 675g like it says in East by West, whoops!) whole dates, chopped 
  • 100g dark chocolate

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160ºC/gas mark 4).
  • Place everything in the food processor except the dates. Pulse until well blended. Then add the dates and pulse again until evenly distributed.
  • Divide the mixture into 18 balls, place onto a lined baking sheet and flatten so that they are around 1cm thick and 4cm wide.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then turn them over and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown all over. They will still feel a bit soft, but get crunchier when they cool. Place in the fridge to cool.
  • Meanwhile, gently melt two-thirds of the chocolate over a bain-marie until just melted. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate until melted. Working quickly, dip each bite into the chocolate using two forks and then place on a plate or board lined with baking parchment. Decorate according to your fancy and enjoy!
Jasmine Hemsley