This 2-ingredient recipe couldn't be easier or more crowd-pleasing. Sticky-sweet Medjool dates are wrapped in a strip of bacon and then oven-baked until chewy-crisp, and salty-sweet.
Wrapping bite-sized foods in bacon is nothing new. This appetizer has been around for centuries, and came to be a traditional British hors d'oeuvre, often served at holiday time. They are sometimes made with prunes instead of dates and go by the moniker, "Devils on Horseback." This was a nod to their seafood counterpart, "Angels on Horseback," which is a bacon-wrapped oyster. Some versions feature nuts or cheese. Some are soaked in brandy or soy sauce. You can even substitute water chestnuts for the dates. But this simple two-ingredient version is quick, easy, and totally scrumptious just the way it is. It's also elimination-diet friendly for those of you on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
Serve these as a thyroid-healthy snack, an amuse-bouche for a romantic meal, a savory one-bite dessert, or as part of a holiday buffet. You may want to double or triple the recipe if entertaining because these babies disappear quickly.
The trick is to start these bacon-wrapped dates in a cool oven.
Because dates have so much naturally occurring sugar, they can scorch if they spend too long in a hot oven. On the flip-side, the bacon needs time to go from flaccid and slimy, to toothsome and tantalizing.
The solution: Start cool, allowing the bacon to slowly render its fat, meanwhile bathing the dates in those smoky drippings, and warming them to a melt-in-your-mouth texture without over-caramelizing those natural sugars. Got it?
Another trick is to use regular, not thick-cut bacon. I use Applegate Organic's Sunday Bacon which is hickory smoked, humanely raised, sugar-free, and uncured. It's also thin and pliable, which makes it much easier to wrap and cook these Bacon-wrapped Dates. The ingredient list is also free of "spices," which can include seeds and nightshades that are not allowed during the elimination phase of the AIP.
If all you can get your hands on is thick-cut bacon, you may need to soak some wooden toothpicks in water for 30 minutes, and use them to secure the bacon around the date. I haven't tested that, so I'm not sure how the cooking time would vary.
- A 3 ounce serving of pork contains 103% DV for tyrosine, 63% DV for selenium, and 17% DV for Zinc – 3 key nutrients for thyroid health.
- Medjool dates are an excellent natural sweetener and caramel substitute. Although they are high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation, they provide 2 grams of dietary fiber per fruit.