These vegan protein peanut butter stuffed dates taste like a Snickers bar. But they’re made with wholesome, plant-based ingredients, including medjool dates, peanut butter, melted dark chocolate, and pea protein.
Hot summer days rarely deter me from turning on my oven, but July had enough super warm days that I often hesitated to bake. This left me in the position of seeking out no-bake treats instead. These protein peanut butter-stuffed dates are the best one of those that I’ve tried.
The dates are sweet, gooey, and feature the completely irresistible combination of chocolate and peanut butter. They’re easy to make with wholesome, simple ingredients, plus they incorporate pea protein as an added bonus!
Snacking on these treats has given me a lot of joy throughout this summer of frantic (and often tricky) recipe testing. I’m glad to be sharing the recipe today.
Plant-based protein is part of the reason that the peanut butter-stuffed dates make such a great, filling snack.
Honestly? I never thought I’d become a “vegan protein dietitian,” as I now jokingly refer to myself with clients. But I’ve come to see how important protein contributes to satiety, energy, and immunity.
This is true in general, but it’s especially important for those who are transitioning away from, or reducing, animal protein in their diet. Sourcing protein on a plant-based diet can be a learning curve.
I lean on legumes, soy foods, and vegan meats for protein in my meals. However, plant-based protein powders can also make easy additions to overnight oats, smoothies, and snacks.
In this recipe, the protein powder is mixed with a peanut butter filling for the dates. It adds some pleasant vanilla flavor and sweetness. It also makes the recipe just a little more protein-rich.
I’m often asked what my favorite vegan protein powders are. The answer is that I love the Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest, and I also like the Sprout Living Epic Protein in the Vanilla Lucuma flavor.
The first step in making the stuffed dates is to cut each medjool date open and remove the pit. To do this, simply make a lengthwise cut in the date with a paring knife. It should be easy to find and retrieve the pit.
Next, you’ll combine the ingredients for stuffing the date: protein powder, peanut butter, and maple syrup. It’s a soft, but slightly sticky mixture that you’ll stuff into each date by the heaping tablespoon.
Next, you’ll melt vegan dark chocolate (morsels, chips, or chopped chocolate bar) in the microwave (or over a double boiler). Use a tablespoon to drizzle each date generously with melted chocolate.
Finally, you’ll sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of the dates. Just for a touch of that wonderful, sweet and savory, dark chocolate-meets-sea-salt alchemy.
Finally, you’ll chill or freeze the dates until the chocolate and sea salt is set. At that point, you can bite right into them and delight in how good they are.
I definitely recommend using medjool dates in the recipe! Deglet Nour dates can be great for using as a sweetener or using in raw energy bites, but they’re missing the caramel-like, super-soft texture of medjool dates.
That texture is what helps to make the stuffed dates as satisfying as they are.
The melted dark chocolate is what takes the stuffed dates to the next level. Without it, the dates are sweet, salty, nutritious, and very tasty.
With the chocolate, however, they become amazing.
I melt chocolate in a Pyrex bowl in my microwave in 30-second intervals. If you microwave longer than that, the chocolate may overheat and lose its glossiness. Stir between each interval.
You can also make a double boiler to heat the chocolate in the recipe.
Once melted, the chocolate needs an addition of a little coconut oil (just two teaspoons). This helps to make it a good texture for drizzling. It also helps to harden the chocolate once the dates are chilled.
Yes, you can absolutely prepare the stuffed dates without peanut butter. Almond butter is a fine substitute if that’s your preference.
If you’re allergic to all tree nuts, you can substitute sunflower seed butter for peanut butter in the recipe.
Once prepared, the peanut butter stuffed dates can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to ten days.
Though there’s a very, very good chance that you’ll polish them off before that!
Snack time is rarely this enjoyable or worth anticipating!
I hope you’ll give the stuffed dates—and the awesome vegan protein that inspired them—a try.