The inspiration for this recipe came from my mum - who is a yoga teacher and a doula - as she told me that eating 6 dates a day in the end of your pregnancy helps prepare you for labour, and research showed that women who ate dates versus those that didn't were less likely to need medication to keep things progressing. So I thought I'd do some research and it turns out, there's quite a bit out there on dates in the third trimester!
One particular study published on PubMed concluded that -
"the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome"
Boom! That's enough for me to give it a go! And then this though -
"The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005), and a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007)."
Which in lay-mans terms (coz before I fell pregnant and researched everything, that paragraph above may have been written in Japanese for me to try and understand) means, your cervix is more open for bubs to come through, and your waters haven't broken yet (when they do it can be more painful, so I've heard).
In the study referenced above, pregnant women began eating 6 dates per day, from 36 weeks. Now of course you can just go ahead and eat 6 dates as they come, but mum had given me a recipe to try instead. I didn't love it though and knew I could make better.
So my recipe has more fats and satiating ingredients in them so it's not just a full on sugar ball. And in this recipe you'll be getting your 6 dates daily in one bliss ball. Yes I know, utter meal-prep bliss!
These taste delicious (like, you're literally hanging-out-for-your-afternoon-date-ball), and makes enough to last you a fortnight (YAY to not having to think about quantities or batching for two weeks!).
TIP: I used dried organic dates I found at The Source for $9.95/kg, as the big, plump, delicious medjool kind we all know and love was $35.95/kg and when you need this much... well I opted for the cheaper kind. I simply soaked them in hot water for a few minutes to plump them up, then drained the water off before beginning the recipe.
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
- If you want your bliss balls with chunky and chewy bits through them, throw everything into a food processor at once and blitz until sticky and combined.
- If you prefer your bliss balls smoother with no lumps, blitz your cashews and coconut first, then add the dates, then everything else.
- Lay your mixture out onto wax paper, and using your hands, form the mix into a log shape. Wrap in your wax paper and roll for a nice smooth log. Chill in the fridge to firm up. And then chop the log into 14 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and voila!
I find portioning it out this way so much easier than scooping a guestimate amount of mixture out to roll by hand, and then realising you made too many or not enough. Remember, you're wanting 6 dates a day so this recipe has to make 14 bliss balls.
Then each day, make a ritual of sitting down with your raspberry leaf tea and your date bliss ball, and take a well deserved break :)
Now I’m curious to know… did you like this post? Are you pregnant or trying to fall pregnant? Or did you happen to eat dates in your pregnancy? I would love to hear in the comments below.
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