This healthy homemade turtles recipe that’s as fun to as make as it is tasty to eat and one the whole family is sure to love!
Turtles used to be one of my favourite holiday treats. My dad used to give them to us every Valentine’s Day and I’d often get them as a little stocking stuffer at Christmas, but as you can imagine, they are not the type of treat that I would opt for nowadays. However, that does not mean that I have lost my love for the ooey-gooey caramel centre, salty pecan crunch and velvety chocolatey melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Lord help me, they are just so good. Fear not, I’ve found a combination that really hits the spot and satisfies that sweet, salty and chocolatey craving.
If you have never tried dates before, I’ve got news for you. 1) Get it together! (Just kidding, it’s all love here folks.) 2) Seriously now, you are missing out. I know you are probably thinking, ‘But aren’t those the fruits used to help relieve constipation?’ Truth, be told, yes they are but stick with me here. Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits and therefore are known to have many healing properties. Today dates are available in grocery stores fresh or dried and are sweet tasting with a rich chewy texture. Dried dates are often used in baking recipes as a natural sweetener, such as my Trail Mix Bites, but can also be eaten on their own as a little snack. There are a couple of varieties of dates, but the Medjool variety is the sweetest and, when eaten fresh, tastes just like toffee. That’s right TOFFEE! Not only do they taste amazing, but are a source of fibre, vitamins and trace minerals, and do not spike your blood sugar the same way refined sugar does, making them a great alternative as a natural sweetener.
So, if you have never tried Medjool dates this is your chance. I promise that with their toffee-like flavour and chewy texture, paired with crunchy pecans and rich dark chocolate, they make the perfect caramel centre for these healthy homemade turtles.Print
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 12 turtles 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: By Hand
- 12 Medjool dates
- 1 cup chocolate chips, dark or semi-sweet
- 48 pecans halves
- Sea salt (optional)
- Using your fingers, or a knife if needed, peel open the dates and remove the pits.
- Once the pit has been removed, using your hands press the pitted date into a flat, round shape. The fresher the dates the easier this will be. You want to ‘smush’ them together to create a bit of a ball, the more you ‘smush’ them, the more they will provide a chewy texture to the turtles. (Optional: You can also add the dates to a food processor to create a date paste and then shape the paste into 12 disc-shaped pieces.)
- Once each date has been formed into a circle, press 4 pecan halves into the base of each date. The pecans should emulate the feet of the turtles. Once complete, place them feet-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Using a double boiler (or microwave if needed) gently melt the chocolate. You want to do this at a low heat to ensure the chocolate remains velvety smooth, and ensure that you are stirring the chocolate periodically.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add roughly 1 teaspoon to the bottom of the turtle to help adhere the pecans to the date. Once complete, transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate has solidified.
- Once the chocolate has solidified, remove the baking sheet from the fridge or freezer. Working one at a time, place each date into the melted chocolate, feet-side up, until the entire date is covered in chocolate. You can use a spoon to move it around and remove it from the chocolate.
- Once complete, return each turtle to the baking sheet, feet-side down, and sprinkle the top with a small pinch of sea salt. (The sea salt is optional but it helps to bring out the flavor of the chocolate.)
- Once all turtles are complete, transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for 20-30 minutes until the chocolate has completely solidified.
- Once solidified, the turtles can be eaten immediately, or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 turtle
- Calories: 185 calories
- Sugar: 21 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 26 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
Keywords: candy, easy, healthy