60-cal Date Newton Bites

Sarah B. of My New Roots says every bite of her chocolate cherry cookies caused her to “run around [her] kitchen in tiny circles, like a short-circuiting robot on flavour overdrive.” That’s kind of how I feel about these. Except my version went more along the lines of shoving a sticky glob of delicious in my roommate’s face like a crazy, shouting “TRY THIS!”

Date Newton Bites

No oven. Five basic ingredients. Huge, intense flavor. These are amazing. They were a reward to myself because guess what! I did it! I lived through this past week without ingesting one speck of added refined sugar!*

It’s been weird. A week without banana bread, spoons of ice cream, halves torn from cookies straight from the oven. I made it a week, and I feel slightly cleaner. (I suppose it helps that I’ve also been trying to eat clean. We’re talking lentil, carrot and quinoa soup and quinoa cornbread galore.)

Date Newton Bites

The weird thing is that it wasn’t NEARLY as hard as I expected. I curbed a lot of my cravings with homemade Larabars and PB&J crackers, and I started eating oranges from my santa-sized sack after dinner instead of my normal dive into whatever container of sweets are lying around. Willpower: check.

Week two: here I come? I could totally do it if my “no-sugar” challenge allowed limited amounts of natural sweeteners (so I can eat these). I say I can.

Raw Date Newtons

I found these while browsing through Rawified after oogling her miles-long list of homemade Larabar flavors. I just couldn’t squash my urge to bake cook make something, so I got out my food processor…

Date Newton Bites

…and five minutes later, was banging down my roommate’s door. These aren’t your traditional fig newtons (which, actually, both my roommate and I admitted we don’t even really like!)—they’re sticky with honey and chewy from ground oats, oozing with a gooey, vanilla-scented date paste. The “cookie” part is incredibly rich with oil-abundant almonds and flax seed and they’re just the best cookie I’ve made all year. But really.


* Well, except for Sunday, when Erik suddenly decided we should have date night and the quirky-chic Italian restaurant gave us free pizza in the bread basket and two plates of biscotti for dessert. Naturally, I ate six. Bite-sized! Biscotti aren’t even that sweet, amirite? And they were free, so like, it doesn’t even count.

And half a bite-sized biscotti last night. But I was up past 12, way past my week night bedtime, and I can’t be blamed for my bad decisions.

Tips: My food processor is kind of dinky and not super strong, so my date paste was on the chunky side. You can make it chunkier or smoother depending on your preference—as long as it’s spreadable.

Substitutions: I used dates instead of figs (hence the “date newton”) and liked the result a lot–feel free to use either. I used unsalted roasted almonds, but you could probably use salted almonds and definitely omit the salt. They might be on the salty side, so try using half salted, half unsalted at the very least if possible. I used instant oats and flax seed meal, but the original recipe called for raw rolled oats and flax seed. Either will work. If you want to add a dash of cinnamon to the dough, I think that would go over quite well.

Nutrition: Here’s the calorie breakdown (You can try this recipe calculator if you want stats on fat, carbs, protein, etc. but it can be inaccurate. All calorie calculations below were calculated using the nutrition facts on the labels.)

½ cup almonds = 320 calories
1 cup dates = 16 dates (Costco brand) =  about 320 calories
¼ oats = 75 calories
¼ cup flax = 120 calories
2 tablespoons honey = 130 calories

= 965, if my math’s not mistaken.

So one newton bite = ~60 calories. Put that in your newton and eat it!

Portion size: I find that two of these bite-sized delights, nibbled along with gallons of icy ice water or a hearty glass of almond milk (or, you know hot cocoa) puts me at a level that is not only satisfied but also whoa-I’m-satiated-how-did-two-little-pillows-of-fun-manage-to-make-me-feel-like-I-just-ate-a-vat-of-butter? Okay, not quite, but still. Savor slowly and trust me.

Raw Date Newton Bites
Adapted from Rawified

Yield: 16 bite-sized newtons

1/2 cup almonds, unsalted
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup instant oats (rolled may also work)
tiny pinch salt
2 tablespoon honey
up to 1 tablespoon of milk (I used almond breeze)

1 cup pitted dates
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine almonds, flax, oats and salt in a food processor and grind until blended. Add the honey and process until the mixture starts to clump. If mixture seems dry, add milk 1/2 tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together. Remove the mixture from the food processor and place on a sheet of wax paper. Cover with another sheet of wax paper. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape approximately 1/4″ thick. I cut the rectangle in half at this point and rolled half out thinner, about 4″ by 6″.

Combine the dates and vanilla; process until a spreadable paste emerges. Spread half the paste lengthwise along the rolled out dough. Fold one side of the dough over the date paste and press along the seam to seal. It’s easiest if you handle the dough through the wax paper at this point. Slice into 8 bite-sized chunks. Repeat with other half of dough. Store newtons in an airtight container in the fridge.

21 responses to “60-cal Date Newton Bites

  1. Pingback: Fig Cookies | familyrecipebooks·

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  3. Way to go, Erika, on the no-sugar! You’ve got crazy will power. And no, the free biscotti don’t count so don’t feel any guilt about them 😉 I just can’t do it, no matter how many times I tell myself NOT to eat that piece of chocolate or cookie, I cave in. Sigh. That’s why I need to start making your healthy versions of sweets, like these date bites. I just saw a pack of dates at the grocery store the other day but didn’t buy them (I’m a fool!). They’re coming home with me next time I go.

    • Haha I knew you’d be on my side, Nancy 🙂 Believe me, I didn’t think I could make it a week. It only started because I was on a plane/in airports for nearly the whole day last Wednesday and I get so miserable on planes if I eat the wrong thing so of course I ate zero sugar the whole day and it was just the best time to start a no-sugar week because I got a practically free day! Since then, it’s been a constant game of distracting myself so I don’t munch on sugar. Or bake. Lol. Anyway, go get those dates!!

  4. What a great recipe Erika! They look delicious AND healthy which means they are pretty much awesome! Congrats on no refined sugar! I love the ingredients, the simplicity and I love dates. Yum!

    • Thanks Brandi 🙂 My boyfriend, roommate and I were literally in shock at how simple and healthy and DELICIOUS they were. My boyfriend kept going, “there’s no butter in these?!?!” Hehe 🙂

    • Haha, I thought so too! But it was surprisingly easy this past week when I made up my mind to eat clean and (mostly) stuck to it. This next week may be a bit more of a challenge…looking at all your delicious recipes makes it especially hard! 🙂

  5. These look great. Good for you for giving up sugar- that is awesome!! You should try eating plain dates as a dessert if you crave something sweet. I came across the weird little fruits kind of like you did, making homemade larabars, and when I tried the date solo, it was really good! If I were to give up sugar I would definitely have to find some sweet alternatives. Keep up the good work!!

  6. the lara bars and now these.. Erika.. I really need to take some advice from you and just MAKE these! besides the treats I share on my website, I eat rather clean. 🙂 Most of the time! I would LOVE these date bites.

    • Haha I need to take advice from YOU on eating clean AND baking super fancy treats and staying skinny!! I hope you get to make these and love them as much as I did!

    • I used dates that I got from Costco that come in a giant container with nutrition facts on the side…it estimated that 5-6 dates are 120 calories. So 20 cals/date was an approximation, but you’re right–that’s a good thing to note in the recipe! Either way, the recipe calls for 1 cup of dates so the calories would be the about the same regardless of the size. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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