Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meet my New Date

I never realized that a bulk laxative could be so decadently scrumptious. My new-found love is a healthy treat that is gluten free, dairy free and entirely natural. Move over chocolate. Make way for dates!



The skinny on dates: 
- dates are a good source of vitamin A, antioxidants, iron and potassium.
- dates are rich in dietary fibre which helps reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the gut.
- dates contain tannins which help prevent inflammation. 

Need I say more about my new guiltless pleasure? 

I became a date convert last week when I helped my friend Tara prepare 150 dates stuffed with chevre and toasted almonds. We used Iranian dates, which are available at middle eastern grocery stores. I love the dark, velvety texture of Iranian dates. And at $4 for a box of at least two dozen, this dessert is cheaper and more nutritious than a box of chocolate truffles.


For the preparation in the photo, be prepared to get your fingers sticky, but it's so worth it. They keep  several days in the refrigerator, longer if you remove the almond which will soften over time.



Dates with Chevre & Toasted Almonds
Iranian dates (or Medjool dates)
Goat cheese or Blue cheese
Toasted almond (whole or slivered)


Carefully slice the date lengthwise.
Remove the pit.
Stuff with about a quarter teaspoon for cheese.
Place the almond onto the cheese.
Enjoy!



If you have an old plastic syringe -- the kind that comes with children's cold medication -- use it to pump the cheese into the dates. I used this method the second time around, and found it much neater.


Another foodie friend, Aviva, mentioned that Argentinian Parmesan works beautifully with dates. Cut small chunks and place them into the centre of the dates.


I have a box of Iranian dates in my refrigerator. If you have any recipes or preparations with dates, please share so I can try them out and expand my repertoire.     



3 comments:

  1. These dates are amazing in hot cereal (oatmeal, Red River cereal, or, if you're g-free, buckwheat groats, millet or quinoa). They practically melt into the cereal when you cook them with the grain, and, better still, you don't need to add any sugar to the cereal! I use about 2 dates per portion.

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  2. I found a great date nut pumpkin coffee cake recipe. If you could deglutinize it, you'd be a culinary super hero!

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  3. Annabe,

    Send that recipe along and I will get to work on de-glutenising!

    AK

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