As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
These healthy stuffed dates make a fantastic snack or dessert any time of day!
Getting your daily dose of dates may be easier than you think. One of nature’s superfoods, dates are a nutrient-rich fruit that can be a definite boost to a balanced diet.
Whether you need a carb-packed snack before a workout, or you are looking for a healthy dessert, stuffed dates are a wonderful addition to any healthy meal plan.
What Are Dates?
No, I don’t mean the kind where you meet up on a Friday night for drinks. I mean the kind you eat. These are fruit harvested from Date Palm trees. They are found in the middle east and have been part of middle eastern cuisine for centuries. While they can be eaten raw, we most often find them dried in the stores. At least here in the US. The most commonly found dates here are Medjool dates. They are fat, oval in shape, soft to bite into, and have a delicate flavor. It’s a caramel-like flavor that is great for sweetening a variety of dishes. Just remove the seed first. (But don’t throw them away!)
What Are Stuffed Dates
Stuffed dates are dried dates that have been partially cut open, had the seed removed, and are then stuffed with different types of fillings. They are a one or two-bite treat or snack and a great addition to a healthy eating plan.
Where Can You Buy Medjool Dates?
Call around, but most grocery stores carry them for at least part of the year. Bigger chain stores like Safeway, Food Lion, Publix, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Kroger usually have them year-round in the produce section. Some stores will even carry organic Medjool dates if you prefer organics.
There are many ways to stuff dates. And the great part is, many of them are dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free. You can easily make this nut-free as well by using seed butter and seeds. Make these fit your lifestyle!
Health Benefits Of Dates
Dates are full of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, A1 and C, among others. They also have a lot of minerals and antioxidants. They contain potassium, copper, boron, calcium, cobalt, fluorine, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, and zinc.
Date Pit Coffee
If you are pitting dates, clean the pits and toss them in the freezer until you have a collection of them. Once you do, you can roast them, grind them, and make coffee with them. It’s a delicious, caffeine-free coffee-style drink!
Other Uses For Pitted Dates
- Date paste
- As natural sweeteners in just about anything!
Ideas For Stuffing Dates
There are many things you can easily stuff dates with other than what the recipe below suggests. Here are some other ideas for stuffing dates.
- Raw nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pistachios)
- Whole grain pretzels
- Fresh or dried coconut
- Hard cheese (such as fontina)
- Soft cheese (such as brie cheese, cream cheese blue cheese, ricotta, or goat cheese)
- Fresh herbs – basil is a good example
- Dried fruits (such as sun-dried tomatoes, apricots, and apples)
- Various nut butters (such as almond, peanut, hazelnut, or cashew butter)
Are Stuffed Dates A Healthy Dessert?
As far as desserts go, dates are about the healthiest you’ll find. What you stuff them with is another topic. But if you keep the stuffing and topping healthy, then yes! They are very healthy. Dates, on their own, are a powerhouse of nutrients!
Can You Eat Raw Dates?
Like most tree fruits, yes you can! Here in the States, we find them mostly dried. But raw dates are definitely edible.
About The Ingredients
Medjool dates – Pit them, but keep the pits for date pit coffee!
Unsweetened peanut butter – Or any nut or seed butter you prefer.
Dark chocolate – You can use any chocolate you prefer. I like to use dark, sugar-free chocolate.
Desiccated coconut – Optional, but delicious.
Almonds – These are optional, but add wonderful flavor and texture. I prefer them raw, but you can use roasted and salted if that’s what you prefer.
Dried rose petals – This is optional and really just for making them pretty for guests (or yourself!).
How To Pit A Date
Using a paring knife or other small knife, slice the dates open in lengthwise slits on one side. Do not cut all the way through. You are only opening one side of the date. Remove the seeds. Set aside.
How To Make Stuffed Dates
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Don’t forget to stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. You can also melt this in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, in 30-second intervals. Stir after each interval. Repeat until the chocolate is just melted. Do not overheat this in the microwave or you will burn the chocolate.
Dip each date into the chocolate until completely covered or half covered. Quickly set it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. With a knife or a fork, open the date making sure there is room for the filling. Do this step before the chocolate solidifies. You want the chocolate to harden with the date in an open position so you can put the stuffing inside without breaking the chocolate.
Place them into the freezer for about 10 minutes to fully harden the chocolate. When done, fill each date with 1 tsp. of peanut butter.
On top of the peanut butter, place 1 almond, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut and crushed, dried rose petals (if using).
Pop them back into the freezer for another 10 minutes to make sure everything sets properly.
How To Store Stuffed Dates
Keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Dates?
Yes, absolutely! In fact, they are a wonderful treat straight out of the freezer. As long as you pack them well, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Tips For Serving Stuffed Dates
You have three choices for how to serve your dates.
- Room temperature – These are great for dessert.
- Frozen – Wonderful for snacks on the go.
- Warmed – These are amazing when warmed up. However, you’ll want to avoid dipping them in chocolate if you intend to serve them warm. You can instead, avoid the almond and simply stuff the dates with a few chocolate chips instead. This way, the chocolate will stay with the date instead of melting onto your baking pan. To warm dates, put them in a preheated oven at 375 F. and bake them for about 10 minutes.
How To Serve Stuffed Dates
Depending on what you stuff them with, you can add stuffed dates to salads, blend them with things like coconut and form them into little snack “nuggets” or Lara Bar-type snack bars. But the best way to serve them is to simply put them on a plate and enjoy them.
Two Tips For Stuffing Dates
- Never overfill your dates, particularly if you want to add multiple ingredients. A little goes a long way.
- Make sure you get the plumpest dates you can find. The bigger they are, the easier they are to stuff.
Keeping It Simple
One thing to know about stuffed dates is that you don’t have to get overly complicated with stuffing them. While the recipe below sounds a bit exotic with chocolate and rose petals, this can, in fact, be a very simple snack or dessert. I’ve stuffed them with a bit of almond butter and sprinkled a little cinnamon over the top and that was it. They were delicious! So if any of this recipe seems a bit over the top for you, remember that dates are very versatile and you can always keep it super basic and still enjoy a delicious treat.
Cost can vary from store to store and region to region. These prices were current at the time I figured this data. Figures do not include optional ingredients.
16 large Medjool dates
16 tsp. unsweetened peanut butter
8 oz. dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp. desiccated coconut
Total Ingredient Cost
Cost Per Serving
Need Recipe Supplies?
More Date Recipes
Stuffed Dates Recipe Card
Stuffed Dates Recipe
- Paring knife
- Cutting board
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- 16 large medjool dates (pitted)
- 16 tsp. peanut butter (no sugar added)
- 8 oz. dark chocolate (or any chocolate you prefer)
- 1 tbsp. desiccated coconut (no sugar added)
- 16 medium almonds
- dried rose petals (crushed, optional)
- Using a paring knife or other small knife, slice the dates open the long way on one side. Do not cut all the way through. You are only opening one side of the date. Remove the seeds. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Don't forget to stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. You can also melt this in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, in 30-second intervals. Stir after each interval. Repeat until the chocolate is just melted. Do not overheat this in the microwave or you will burn the chocolate.
- Dip each date into the chocolate until completely covered or half covered. Quickly set it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. With a knife or a fork, open the date making sure there is room for the filling. Do this step before the chocolate solidifies. You want the chocolate to harden with the date in an open position so you can put the stuffing inside without breaking the chocolate.
- Place them into the freezer for about 10 minutes to fully harden the chocolate. When done, fill each date with 1 tsp. of peanut butter.
- On top of the peanut butter, place 1 almond, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut and crushed, dried rose petals (if using).
- Pop them back into the freezer for another 10 minutes to make sure everything sets properly.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archive, originally posted 3/8/2011.