Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Healthy Cooking: Homemade Dates Spread

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, eating in and cooking wholesome meals is not always the easiest or most convenient task to tackle.  Healthy dishes do not have to be complicated, time consuming, or expensive to make.  I hope my Healthy Cooking recipes will help you choose to cook and eat in more often. Bon app├ętit!

I have been on the look out lately for healthier (and easier to make) substitutes for foods that my family, especially my children, love to eat.  One of the comfort foods that they can't get enough of is PB & J, or in our case AB & J, as we have started to use almond butter instead and have loved it.  But the jelly part was a little more difficult as I don't know anything about making my own fruit jams or canning them for that matter.  But, my lovely cousin in Toronto has shared a recipe with me that has changed my whole view on sweetening my family's favorite foods: homemade dates spread.  We have used it as jam or jelly in our sandwiches and subbed it as sugar in our pancakes and smoothies.  This recipe is great for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone who would like a healthier way to satisfy his or her sweet tooth.

For this recipe, I used a little over half a pound of Medjool dates.  You can use whatever kind or how ever much you would like.  I had only made this spread one other time, and I made the mistake of forgetting to take out the seeds or pits.  I ended up having to sift them out later.  No fun!  So be sure to remove the seeds before hand.  


Take your dates, and place them in a small saucepan.  Add enough water to barely cover the dates. Bring the pan to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer the dates until they have soften.  Mine took about 30 minutes or so.  You can add more water as it is cooking if you need to.  Place the dates and any leftover liquids into a food processor or blender and puree until your spread is smooth.



Store in a small covered container, such as a reusable jar or tupperware, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  I made just enough to fill one little baby food jar for my husband to take to work and small bowl for the kids and I to enjoy at home.  I used it immediately for our AB & J, and the kids gobbled it up like crazy.  You can use any dried fruits for this spread so feel free to experiment with different varieties.  Enjoy!


1 comments:

Erica said...

I think I love you for this recipe!

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