Keep a batch of these chocolate berry pistachio stuffed dates in the fridge or freezer to satisfy sweet cravings, especially when you want chocolate! They just require five minutes and four whole food ingredients. Optional additions are also included. So simple and so delicious, with no chocolate bars or chips required. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, whole food plant-based.
Until a few months ago, I had a chocolate bar habit. I would have a dark chocolate orange bar I'd nibble on daily throughout the week. That was my sweet for the day. But when I learned that my favorite bar's chocolate was found to have heavy metals in it, I stopped. I found I was surprisingly fine not eating chocolate or even something sweet every day, but I did find myself craving it once in awhile. So, I started eating dates stuffed with nut butter. Since I often ate nut butter in the mornings too, though, that seemed like a lot of nut butter happening.
I decided to lighten the date treat up by using a couple of whole nuts instead of nut butter, and I found it...satisfying! This version, adding cacao, berries, and pistachios, is fantastic, achieving a chocolatey taste with just a light sprinkling of cacao powder. The caramel-like medjool dates are sweet enough to take it on. Then, the freeze-dried berries add a crunch and an emphasized version of that berry flavor. And pistachios! Need I say more? The result is fantastic!
The only equipment you need for this recipe is a work surface you don't mind getting sprinkled with cacao and pomegranate powders and a small mesh strainer if you have one, which is handy for evenly distributing the powder. In a pinch, you could just sprinkle the powders by the, well, pinch.
Ingredients & Variations
There are just four basic ingredients required for this recipe: medjool dates, pistachios, freeze-dried berries, and cacao powder.
Optional ingredients include pomegranate powder and flake salt. I do highly recommend these additions for enhancing the flavor of these sweets, and yet I still encourage you to make this recipe without them if you don't have them - it's still great, don't miss out!
Cocoa powder can substitute for cacao powder.
Any freeze-dried berries will do, and you could substitute dried berries if you want to. Freeze-dried berries are the only choice for me, though, because they provide a beautiful crispy texture and are packed with flavor without getting all stuck in my teeth. My favorite is freeze-dried raspberry - with the cacao, it's a decadent chocolate-raspberry treat. Trader Joe's is a good place to find freeze-dried, or online.
Other salt can be used in place of flake salt - it just won't be quite as nice. There are flavored flake salts that would be fun to try with this.
Other nuts could certainly be substituted and these would still be very tasty, but nothing beats the pistachio for me. Alternatively, skip the nuts and it will still be so tasty!
Start by opening up the dates and laying them as flat as possible, grouping them close together.
Sprinkle the powder evenly over the dates.
Add the pistachio nuts and freeze-dried berries.
Pinch the dates closed and sprinkle the tops with flake salt, if desired (recommended, it does enhance the flavors).
These chocolate berry stuffed dates can be served on a little platter as an easy-to-eat party treat. I like to have a batch on-hand for anyone with a sweet tooth. They can be served at room temperature or chilled.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container. These should keep for quite awhile. In the fridge, they should last at least a week; keep in mind the berries may soften. In the freezer, at least three months.
When you just want a little something to give you a boost without a big crash, this little package of dates, fruit, and nuts with cacao is where it's at. You can't really go wrong stuffing dates, however. If you are missing any of the ingredients, see what you have on-hand and give it a try.
Chocolate Berry Pistachio Stuffed Dates Recipe
- 1 plate or other work surface
- 1 small strainer
- 16 medjool dates
- ½ cup freeze-dried berries
- 3 tablespoons pistachios shelled (32 small/standard pistachios)
- 1 teaspoon cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate powder optional but recommended
- ¼ teaspoon flake salt optional
- Open the dates like a butterfly, placing them close together on a work surface. A paring knife can help get you started. Remove any stems or pits.
- Sprinkle the powder(s) evenly over the dates, preferably using a small strainer.
- Place 2-3 pistachios inside one half of each date. Then, do the same with the freeze-dried berries, crumbling them if necessary to help them fit.
- Squeeze each date closed. Sprinkle with more powder and/or flake salt, if desired.
- Serve, or store them in the fridge or freezer for a sweet treat.