Everyone loves candy. Everyone loves meat. Therefore, everyone loves meat candy.
Okay, you’re right, none of those statements are true, but if they are true of YOU then you’re going to love this recipe!
Belle and I first discovered it when we did a 30-day Paleo challenge at our gym (“Paleo” is short for “Paleolithic”, in case that was keeping you up at night).
Turns out that cavemen didn’t eat Frosted Mini Wheats – tragic, I know. So what did those loin-cloth sporting mad-men enjoy when their singular (sweet) tooth got a craving?
Cavemen ate bacon-wrapped dates.
No? Still not buying it? Huh, I’ll have to check Wikipedia again.
Anyhow, here’s how it goes:
A Paleo Snack Recipe
First, start with uncooked bacon – if you’re going for Paleo then it should also be minimally processed and have no added sugar or nitrites (we found a brand called Applegate at Publix, but you may have more options).
Next make sure you have some whole, pitted dates on hand – these may be in the dried fruits section of your grocery store, but ours are actually with the nuts in the produce section.
You just want to make sure they are not chopped (since it’s hard to wrap bacon around chopped dates) and don’t have pits (since we’re not looking to replicate the dental state of Paleolithic man).
First things first: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I always forget this step.
Then, take four or five strips of bacon, lay them on a plate and microwave them for 2 to 3 minutes. Why? Well, in our experience, bacon that is cooked a little bit first not only is easier to wrap around the dates (some bacon falls apart easily), but also provides a much crispier treat at the end.
Once you’ve done that, split each piece of bacon in half (width-wise) and start wrapping individual dates, securing the bacon to the date with a toothpick. A half-strip should provide enough length to wrap all the way around the date and allow you to put the toothpick through a doubled-over piece of bacon. This is key because you don’t want the bacon to fall off while cooking!
As you finish each of these little gems, place them on a rimmed baking sheet – you don’t want any rolling away!
When you have created the desired number or run out of bacon, pop them in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, checking at 8 minutes to see how they are crisping up.
Remember that bacon tends to crisp up a little more after you take it out of the pan, and the same applies here, so lean on the side of caution and remember you can always put them back in for another minute or two.
Once you pull them out: VOILA! Delicious treats for you and your loin-clothed brethren. Or maybe just an afternoon pick-me-up, or guilt-free post-work snack. I could keep hyphenating all day long, but I’d rather be munching on one of these!
Find this recipe too tame? Want to amp it up from a Paleo snack recipe to a classy hors d’oeuvre treat? Try cutting open the date and putting some goat cheese in the middle. I know, I know, cavemen didn’t eat goat cheese, but you don’t see a lot of food critics going around trying to reinvent cavemen cuisine. If your diet allows it, this is an incredibly simple, but decadent, entertaining option.
Sometimes I just pretend to throw a dinner party as an excuse to make them. That’s not weird, right?
Also, if you’re REALLY leaning out, and I’m talking squirrel-suit skydiving here, you could put an almond in the middle and get a double-crunch effect! But you’d have to like almonds and be willing to have a toothpick sticking halfway out of your creation, since toothpicks and almonds are sworn enemies. This is just to illustrate that you can take this recipe ALMOST anywhere – let your taste buds be your guide!
Posted by Beau.