25 Aug 2007

Lets Make a Date

The Date Palm has been around for thousands of years in North Africa and the Middle East. The edible fruit, the date, is small, brown and very sweet. Because the inner layer of the fruit wall is fleshy, the date fruit is actually classified as a berry.

Dates are very nutritious containing thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, pantothenic acid and vitamin A. They are rich in the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, high in natural sugars, contain folate and are good source of fiber.

Health wise dates are beneficial for anemia, constipation and fatigue and well worth adding to your five-a-day fruit list.

Fresh dates have less calories than dried dates but they are generally only available in their dried form in most supermarkets. Dried dates can be stored, airtight, at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months or up to a year in the refrigerator. They are an excellent addition to desserts, baked goods and smoothies.

Dark Dream Smoothie (Raw)
From Shazzie's Detox Delights

2 bananas, peeled
1 punnet of blueberries
1 papaya, skinned and de-seeded
2 dates, stoned

Chop the dates. Blend all ingredients and drink.

Easy Vegan Date Macaroons
From Jolinda Hackett, Your Guide to Vegetarian Cuisine,
If you've got a food processor, this sugar-free vegan macaroon recipe takes just a few minutes to make.

8 medium sized dates
1 banana
1 1/2 cups coconut flakes (sugar-free)

Remove the pits from dates. Place ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. Depending on the size of the dates and the ripeness of the bananas, you may need to add more or less coconut to get the right consistency. Mixture should be moist, but not gooey. Bake at 325F/165C 10-15 minutes, until done. Cookies will be soft, but should cook enough to have a golden brown bottom and hold together well.

Almond Date Milk (Raw)
From HappyCow

1 1/2 cup raw almonds, already soaked
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 1/2 cup water
pinch ground cardomon
pinch ground cinnamon

Use almonds that have been soaked in filtered water for at least 10 hours. Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. You can drain the mixture through a cheese cloth or strainer for a smoother drink. Serves 2-3

Date & Aubergine Tagine with Couscous with Toasted Almonds and Fresh Mint From the VegetarianCookerySchool

Date & Aubergine Tagine
A Tagine is a North African stew named after the traditional earthenware cooking pot with a conical lid. Tagines are always served on top of a large mound of steaming couscous.
Serves 4 to 6

2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
1 red chilli, halved & de-seeded
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tspoon paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 large potato, peeled & chopped into bite sized pieces
2 1/2 cups (600ml) boiling water
1 small aubergine, chopped into same sized pieces
1 cup (200g) squash, peeled & chopped into same sized pieces
1/2 cup (100g) dates chopped in half
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper
fresh chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a wok or large casserole & fry the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, chilli & spices & stir-fry for a few minutes, until the spices are fragrant. Add the potato and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Pour in the boiling water, enough to cover, bring to the boil & simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the aubergine and the squash and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, and the sauce has thickened. Add the dates, take off the heat & leave for a couple of hours to let the spices infuse the sweet dates. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli & bay leaf. Add the lemon juice & season with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with plenty of freshly chopped parsley. Serve the couscous piled onto a serving dish & top with the tagine.

Couscous with Toasted Almonds & Fresh Mint
1 cup (200g) couscous
1 1/4 cups (300ml) boiling water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 1/2 tbsps (50g) flaked almonds, toasted
chopped fresh mint
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place the couscous in a large heat-proof bowl & mix in the turmeric. Pour on the boiling water, stir in the olive oil. Leave to stand, until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Season to taste & add the toasted almonds & chopped fresh mint.

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urban vegan said...

Oh, I love dates....their sticky tofffee quality makes them nature's candy. And they're so healthy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the raw recipes, yum!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I hope you had a great holiday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie! To answer your question on my blog, I used a free 3-column template (built to work with Blogger's new widgets) that I found online for the base of my design. I then used Blogger's widgets to create the information in the columns and created the rest in HTML. There were a lot of things I didn't know how to do but, I'll tell ya, the internet is full of information. Whatever I needed I was able to find online and then figure out how to create or implement it.

As for my blogroll, I use for my blog reader. It is one of the best readers I have found so far. Somewhere on Bloglines website is a snippet of HTML code that you can enter into your blog template (or if you're using the new Widgets, choose HTML/Java and paste it into that section). Whenever I add or delete a blog I read, I do it through Bloglines and then Bloglines automatically updates the list on my blog.

I hope that answered your questions but if not, let me know and I can further clarify.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, if you go to the Edit HTML section, you can copy the code of your current blog. Paste it into Notepad located in the Acessories section on your start menu (not Microsoft Word). Then you can fiddle around as much as you want. If it doesn't work out, just copy your blog from Notepad back into Blogger and you'll be back where you started from.

Good luck!

Jackie said...

Had a wonderful holiday :)

Thanks for all the great info vivacious vegan.

Kumudha said...

I always buy dates. By the time I decide to do something with dates, the dates box is almost empty!

Bugz said...

my family loves dates.

Cherry said...

For me it's too sweet, way too sweet. And they are so sticky. Date is one of the fruit that I can't bear eating at all.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful recipes, I'm off to stock up on dates today.

Great to have you back, hope you had a really refreshing break.

aTxVegn said...

Welcome back, Jackie! I am crazy for dates and I love the recipes you posted.

Audio said...

Dates would have to be on the TOP of my wish list constantly. Will have to try your recipes as they sound devine! Love your blog by the way! Check out my Vegan Blog

Prixie said...

i have a confession: i started dabbling in dark chocolate now i just need to let of cheese.:)

Marion said...

Nice to see you back, Jackie...hope you had a great vacation!

I love dates...I use them instead of raisins.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jackie, I love most kind of dates. Why not make a date to eat some dates :) I like your blog, it's great. Cheers from Fruity

bazu said...

Oh, how I love dates. And the date aubergine tagine sounds so intriguing!

Anonymous said...

I like them in cereal. Especially with raisins.

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dreamy said...

I like dates In TCM dates are blood boosters and they can be infused with ginger in water, for boosting qi and blood.

Naomi said...

Thanks for posting those great recipes Jackie, especially the one for the date macaroons. They sound delicious, I will definitely try those. I've always loved dates. When I was growing up, they were only available at Christmas time but now they're around for most of the year.

Anonymous said...

These are indeed interesting, great looking and delicious recipes. It has the advantage of being healthy.

Armand Rousso

Anonymous said...

do you know where i can buy a press for dates> does such a thing exist.would a wine or apple press work?

thank you

Jackie said...

Unfortunately I haven't a clue where to get a date press. Probably one could be imported from somewhere like the Middle East or Egypt.