Bacon Wrapped, Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
-The perfect holiday appetizer or dessert!-
Thanksgiving week is here! The grocery stores are madness (I was just there… what an adventure), family members are calling and emailing like crazy to ensure everything is accounted for regarding Thursday’s festivities, and of course the temperatures are rapidly decreasing. Here in MN it’s beginning to feel a lot more like late November, although thankfully (knock on wood) mother nature has refrained from dropping any white, fluffy stuff on us yet. I hear it may be possible for the holiday, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed hoping it stays away so everyone can get to their families (and Black Friday shopping) safely.
As a follower of the paleo diet, Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. Why? Because meat and vegetables are not at all hard to find, in fact, they’re everywhere. Ham, turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes, mixed green salads, that all sounds pretty darn good to me! However, finding a sweet treat at the end of the meal that is allowable on the paleo diet is a much harder task. The usual pumpkin or blueberry pie no longer fits into my lifestyle, so this year instead of missing out on my favorite part of the meal; I decided to bring something new to share with everyone!
Dates, although relatively high in sugar, are used in the paleo diet all the time as a means to naturally sweeten things such as smoothies, baked goods, or even to make syrup. Typically when someone hears the word “date” listed in the ingredients of something for the first time I think they initially think negative thoughts. Raisins, prunes, dates… these are all associated together by the majority of people as gross, however just because they are all dried fruits does not mean that they taste anything alike. The sweetness and flavor of the date is so much more vibrant and pronounced than that of a prune or a raisin and truly is a decadent way to satisfy your sweet tooth without having to worry about the ingredient list. So obviously since I was to bring a ‘sweet treat’ to the gathering, dates were the first thing to jump to mind.
Hmm…. Dates, dates, what else could I put with the dates? …BACON, I don’t know 1 single person who doesn’t like bacon, and I definitely don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good sweet and salty combination, so this recipe was sure to be a success! And let me tell you how successful it really was…. “Absolutely amazing” “Delicious” “Absolutely wonderful.” This is all directly from the mouths of my family members J
Now enough talk, let’s get to the recipe! This amount you make will depend on how many people you are serving, for this gathering I made 25 dates so there was more than 1 per person.
- 25 Medjool Dates
- 25 Bacon Strips, thinly sliced
- 6oz. Goat Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Line a 9x13 pan w/ parchment paper
- Split a date down the middle and remove the pit
- Repeat for all remaining dates
- Stuff each date with 1 tsp. of goat cheese
- Wrap each date tightly with 1 strip of bacon (you may need to use toothpicks to hold closed)
- Place dates in the pan, slightly separated
- Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is moderately crispy
With the ease of the recipe and the raving reviews I got, I’d say this is a safe bet for you to bring to any of your upcoming holiday parties!
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