Do you wonder what makes raw, vegan desserts so amazing (or even exist at all?) They don’t contain refined sugar or any processed or cooked ingredients. They don’t have milk, butter, and eggs to bind everything together. There is absolutely no heat processing involved. This means you don’t bake anything, which is what is typical of most conventional desserts like cakes, pies, and brownies. So, if you can’t use eggs and can’t bake, how in the heck do you make a tasty dessert that’s 100 percent raw?

The answer is dates!

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The date fruit comes from the date palm, a tree native to Northern Africa and the Middle East. There are several varieties of dates, including medjool dates and Black Sphinx dates. When shopping for dates, select ones that are plump and evenly colored. Their sweetness and thick, sticky consistency makes them an essential ingredient for making great raw vegan desserts.

Dates are Great Binders

Dates serve as the binder for raw vegan desserts, the glue that holds all of those great ingredients together. Without dates, these Hazelnut Chocolate Snowballs would just be a runny, milky mix of processed nuts, coconut, and chocolate powder. In this Raw Vegan Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fudge, dates and peanut butter bind the coconut oil, raw cacao, and unrefined sea salt. Because of the awesome power of dates, you can make this healthy fudge that tastes delicious with only five ingredients.

Dates Thicken Raw Cakes

For creating your typical cakes and cupcakes, the oven is pretty crucial. But thanks to dates, no baking is required for raw versions of these favorite desserts. Dates are crucial for these Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and the cake layer of this Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting.

Dates Help Mold Cakes

For making raw crusts, you can go as simple as mixing nuts and dates together. Cashews, walnuts, and dates are all you need for the crust of these Raw Carob Caramel Cups. The caramel filling of these cups are also made with dates! Dates are essential for making the caramel, since they help create a sticky, thick paste with the coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and water. But wait, there’s more! They’re also used for the carob layer as well. Dates are the superstar of every aspect of this dessert.

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Dates Hold Shape

Dates are also great for making energy and dessert balls, since their malleable texture is ideal for rolling into ball shapes. Try them with almonds, cashews, chia seeds, and ginger in these Raw Vegan Amazing Ginger Energy Bites. Try these Yogi Date Balls, Cranberry Date Walnut Protein Balls, or Sweet and Sour, Pecan and Pistachio Balls, which contain an interesting mix of mulberries, dates, sour cherries, and coconut.

The next time you are in the mood for something sweet, consider whipping up a raw, vegan dessert with dates, your new, go-to super ingredient.

Image source: Raw Carob Caramel Cups

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