Dates. No, not the kind that most of us suffer through. I’m talking about the good kind; the kind that doesn’t leave you footing the bill or faking sudden illness. I’m talking about God’s candy, medjool dates. The fruits that I thought were disgusting things that old people ate for regularity (clearly, I thought they were the same as prunes, which I have also learned to love). Anyway, since trying them as an adult I realized what a gift they are! The sweetness is unbeatable, and lends itself perfectly for sweet and savory dishes.
One of my favorite things to do with dates is to soak handfuls (or the whole bag) of dates in hot water overnight, then drink the liquid in the morning as a pre-workout energy burst. It is SO good.
Once I’ve drained (drank) the liquid, I’m left with a bowl full of plump dates. This is where the creativity comes to play. You can add a couple to your smoothie, you can blend the whole batch and use it as a sweetener alternative in your next baking experiment or you could make Date Butter! As much as I LOVE nut butters, they can sometimes upset my digestive system, but this date butter goes down smooth as silk! Here it is:
2 cups soaked dates
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
A dash of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
Directions: Add all ingredients to a high-power blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a jar, store it in the fridge and enjoy it with sliced apples, on a piece of banana bread or straight out of the jar.
Note: If you’re in Southern California, be sure to load up on dates! My family and I loved the fresh dates in Palm Springs over Christmas.
So, what have you got planned for this weekend: Baking Dates or Boy Dates?