Paleo Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Dates are wonderful, glorious treats . . .

But, dates with bacon? Even better! Truly, everything is better with bacon! (See 365 Days of Bacon if you need more proof or validation of that assertion.) There was a time in my life where I did not eat pork; honestly, I’m not sure how I survived. Without further ado . . .

cooked date

Ingredients

raw datesDirections

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Remove pits from dates and replace with almonds (if using).
  4. Wrap dates in raw bacon.
  5. Place dates with seam-side down approximately 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes in oven.
  7. Remove from oven and place on paper towels to absorb excess grease.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I recommend using a full piece of bacon to wrap the dates even though it may seem rather large at first. The bacon will shrink as it cooks.

Homemade Almond Butter

Almond butter is a staple in our household. Whether for a snack with apples, bananas, or celery or as a necessary ingredient in Coach Sarah’s paleo brownies, almond bread, or almond banana, almond butter is constantly disappearing from our pantry.

Here’s another thing: store-bought almond butter is EXPENSIVE – as in $10 or more per jar! Oh, and be careful, not all almond butter is just almonds – some have added oils, salt, or other unnecessary ingredients.

What’s a girl to do? Make her own (thank you, Vitamix). Although raw almonds are also expensive, I find that they are usually cheaper than almond butter (by quite a few dollars).

Ingredients

  • 3 cups raw almonds

Directions

  1. Pour almonds into Vitamix and replace lid plug with tamper.
  2. Turn Vitamix on variable #1 and quickly move through each variable speed before setting to high.
  3. Use tamper regularly to move almonds (then almond meal) through blades and eliminate air pockets.
  4. Vitamix motor will make unhappy sounds but continue blending at high speed until blade churns through butter and movement is visible. This process should take no longer than 1 minute to 1:30 minutes. Immediately turn Vitamix off.

Recipe Notes

Do not blend on low; following Vitamix directions, move quickly through variable speeds and blend almonds on high speed. Blending at a low speed for a prolonged time will cause motor to overheat and shut off (and it may take as long as 20 minutes for the blender to cool down enough to be usable again)

If the blender does overheat before almond butter forms, do not worry. Just let it cool and start again. I will often pause when the container starts to steam from the heat and then start again until I get the desired, creamy consistency.

 

Almond Banana Muffins

A yummy paleo recipe inspired by the Almond Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins at Multiply Delicious. I have made them as mini-muffins (about 24) and regular muffins (12):

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c almond butter
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients in large bowl until a smooth “batter” forms.
  3. Evenly distribute batter among all cups in a muffin tin.
  4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick pricked into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Recipe Tips

The ripeness of the bananas will not only affect how easy they are to mash but also the sweetness of the muffins.

I prepared the muffin tin with a tiny bit of coconut oil to ensure easy removal of the finished muffins.