Dates are a brilliant cholesterol-friendly natural sweetener that can be added to desserts to give a lovely chewy texture. I love combining them with chia seeds to add a bit of crunch, and also because chia seeds are another great cholesterol-lowering food. Pistachios also contain healthy fats that lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. So these bites really do tick all the boxes!
Dark chocolate is fine to eat in moderation, which is why recipes like this are great, because they make a 100g bar go a long way. You can leave out the oatcakes if you like, but adding them increases the cholesterol-lowering benefits even more, as oats are one of the best foods for reducing cholesterol.
- Makes 24 bites
- Preparation time: 10 mins
- Cooking time: 5 mins + cooling time
- Difficulty: Easy
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- 5 oatcakes
- 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
- 50g pistachio nuts, shelled
- 30g chia seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- A few pinches of salt
- Chop dates into small pieces.
- Line a small rectangular dish with baking paper.
- Put the oatcakes in a ziplock bag, seal, then bash with a rolling pin to break the oatcakes into small crumbs (see photo below).
- Pour some water (to about 2cm depth) into a medium sized saucepan and bring it to the boil.
- Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces and put in a heat-resistant mixing bowl, then place the bowl on top of the saucepan of water. Stir every so often until the chocolate has melted.
- Take the bowl off the heat, then add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the oatcake crumbs, to the bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- While the mixture is still warm, spoon it into the rectangular dish spreading it out evenly. Press down on the mixture with the back of the spoon to compress the mixture into the dish.
- Now spoon the oatcake crumbs onto the mixture, spreading it evenly across the top.
- Place some baking paper on top of the crumb layer, then press down firmly with the back of a spoon across the baking paper to push the crumbs into the mixture.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour to cool and harden.
- Take the dish out of the fridge, then remove the cake by pulling the edges of the baking paper.
- Cut into bitesize pieces and serve.
Key steps in pictures:-
For more cholesterol-friendly recipes and tips on how to reduce cholesterol naturally, click here.