Dates Are Magical!
I’ve heard that there are these awesome things called bottles that will enable parents to go on dates without their baby in tow. I’ve yet to convince FVB that they are acceptable. While on vacation we did manage to sneak away for a happy hour (no bottle needed), but it wasn’t a true “date night.” More like: “date hour.” But, any amount of time is better than no time and, truth be told, if I forced the issue I’m sure FVB would drink a bottle rather than go hungry. I’m just not at that point yet!
OK, back to dates. One day, hubs and I will have date night again. But, in the meantime, I want to talk about the deliciousness of dates that you eat. Particularly Medjool dates that you can buy at Costco. I kept reading about using dates in recipes for raw desserts. I haven’t really gotten onto the raw bandwagon… I like warm, cooked food too much, plus I don’t totally buy into the philosophy behind it. But, I was curious about using dates/nuts as a base for desserts. Friday morning was the perfect occasion to give this idea a try. It was play group and we were having a little Halloween party, with everyone bringing something to share. I wanted something: vegan, gluten-free, and quick. Naturally, a raw, nut based treat fit the bill perfectly. Plus, pumpkin for a Halloween party…. c’mon.
Luckily, my research was quick. I already had a Pinterest board full of ways to use them. I made this amazing recipe in just a few minutes (after pitting my dates) using my food processor & one bowl/spoon. …plus measuring utensils and the mini muffin tin. Easy, quick, and oh so yummy. Seriously tastes just like pumpkin pie. A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and a smooth, creamy texture. I love that it has only 2 tablespoons sweetener (I used agave, it calls for maple syrup) and 2 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance, it calls for coconut butter). The size is perfect, although it’s healthy enough that you could eat several! It would be DIVINE with a dollop of vegan whipped cream.
Now, I did fail to read ahead where it said to chill “for several hours.” I, in my typical fashion, only had several minutes to spare before I had to leave for play group. So…I expedited the process by putting them in the freezer at home and the freezer at play group, probably 30 minutes total. They were a little soft, but still delicious. Of course immediately upon returning from play group I made another batch for myself, this time freezing for several hours. They were a tad easier to eat and just as delicious. Hubs, however, was less than impressed. He doesn’t like pumpkin, so go figure. I forced him to take a bite anyway and he just said: “no thank you.” Oh well, more for me! I’m going to try a cheesecake filling next time to see if he will go for that.
I highly recommend dates as a staple for those with a sweet tooth like me. The date/nut crust would be good with lots of different fillings. I also discovered that dates are delicious when smothered in peanut butter (what isn’t?). I’m imagining them cut up in a PB & J sandwich in place of the jelly. OH, and I also made this date syrup to use as sweetener. I used it in some no bake energy bites and it worked perfectly.
Run to Costco and get yourself some dates….and if you can, go on a date with your SO!