Following on from my food related posts “The Amazing Apple”, “The Brilliant Blueberry” and “The Classic Chick-Pea”, comes “The Delicious Date” – one food that is a must in your household pantry.
Dates are the fruit from the Date Palm Tree and are cut from the palm and ideally sun-dried. The palms are found in dry, tropical countries and the fruit when dried is very sweet.
Saudi Arabia is known as the “Home of the Date Palm Tree” with the palms having a 10,000 year history in that region, and more than 300 different varieties of date grown.
Dates are little powerhouses of nutrition, being high in fibre, amino acids, minerals especially potassium, vitamins, and they are low in fat. The carbohydrate content is high (65-85g per 100g), but the fibre assists in slowing down the absorption of the natural sugars, and often they are eaten with other foods such as nuts, which also balances the carbohydrate content.
Dates are a wonderful replacement for sugar in recipes that need some sweetness, and soaking them for a few hours softens them ready for blending.
One of my favourite sweet recipes using dates is from Alissa Cohen’s Living on Live Food book- and it literally takes 5 minutes to make!
Date Nut Torte:
Base of Tort:
2 cups raisins (or dates)
2 cups walnuts
Blend in a food processor until well blended and moist, it should be a fudgey consistency. Press into a pie plate about 1 1/2 inches thick.
1 cup dates, pitted and soaked
1/2 lemon, juiced
In a food processor, combine dates and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Spread frosting on top of the torte base.
For a firmer texture, refrigerate for a few hours.