I’ve recently discovered a love for dates. They’re sticky, sweet and completely delicious! They have a subtle, caramel-like flavour which I find completely irresistible. They’re a fairly new discovery of mine, but I really can’t get enough. I don’t know what took me so long to try them, but I’m seriously in love.
It all started around Christmas. I was looking for festive flavours and new ingredients to use to make some goodies. That’s when I came across dates. I’d only ever used dried dates in baking, like in my yummy bread (fruit tea loaf) recipe. But absolutely loved the flavours that they created.
So, when I got a pack of fresh, plump medjool dates, (which I heard were the best), I couldn’t wait to have a taste. I was shocked at how big and juicy they looked, as I always thought of them as shrivelled, sticky old fruit. But they were so good! They were full of flavour and surprisingly moreish.
I couldn’t believe that I’d been missing out on these for so long. As soon as I had them, I knew that I wanted to create more and more recipes with them. I wanted to use them as an ingredient, and not just eat them on their own. I was shocked at just how much you could make. There’s everything from flapjacks, cakes, energy balls and even cookies! I know, healthy alternatives (and some not so healthy), that all sounded delicious. But what I couldn’t believe was that you could actually make caramel out of dates. Yep, you read that right… Caramel, that’s actually healthy! It didn’t take me long to create a recipe wish list. And at the top of that list? Date – caramel of course! It looked and sounded so easy and delicious, that I couldn’t wait to give it a go.
Most recipes that I saw used milk, (or a dairy free alternative) to help blend the dates. But I wasn’t 100% convinced by this. I don’t know why, but it just seemed a bit strange to me. So instead, I decided to use one of my all-time favourites, coconut water. It blended into a thick, almost paste-like consistency, and I knew straight away that I was onto a winner. Depending on how you like it, it can be slightly chunkier, or blended a little smoother. Regardless, it’s gonna be tasty! So I’ll admit, I was a little weary to try it at first. I wasn’t sure how it would actually measure up to caramel, but as soon as I tried it, I was completely won over.
It was smooth, rich, sweet, and just like caramel. It was love at first taste, and I seriously had to force myself to stop eating it all at once. Self-control at its strongest! At first, I wasn’t too sure what to have it with. I mean, I know it’s tasty but I can’t just sit there eating a whole pot of caramel at once. It was my sister who was struck by the genius eureka moment.
That night, I was making some banana nice cream for pudding, when she suggested adding a bit of my new creation. ‘caramel and banana would make it a banoffee pudding,’ she said. Duh! Why hadn’t I thought of that? They were the perfect partners, and rivalled even the most indulgent treats.
So, I’m slowly making my way through my date recipe wish list, and so far, it’s been nothing but a success! Perfect as a snack on their own, or adding to a dish, dates are always a good choice. And honestly, who doesn’t love the idea of guilt-free, healthy caramel?
I know I do,
Juicy, rich, guilt free indulgence. Who could ask for more?
Yields: Roughly 1 Small Pot
- 1 Cup Pitted Fresh Medjool Dates
- 1/2 Coconut Water
- Make sure you remove all seeds from the dates.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend, until desired consistency is reached.
- Enjoy in so many different ways, just try not to eat it all at once!
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