One taste of this Creamy Date Spread and you’ll be looking around your kitchen to see how many ways you can enjoy it. It only takes five minutes to make and is equally scrumptious on sliced fruit, spread on warm muffins or added to a smoothie for some natural sweetness.
When I was a kid processed white bread was what we ate when we were hungry and there wasn’t anything else to eat, after we ate our meal and were still looking for more food, or for an evening snack. Usually it meant bread/toast with butter, peanut butter, jam (or a combination), but what my siblings and I loved most was cinnamon toast; hot buttered toast generously sprinkled with a white sugar and cinnamon mixture. It was nothing to see my brother with a plated piled high with four to six slices of toast covered in cinnamon sugar in the evening.
I can’t imagine eating that cinnamon toast now, but this Creamy Date Spread on sprouted whole grain or gluten-free sourdough bread toast brings back all of those wonderful youthful memories of home wrapped up in a nutritious and health supporting package full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
So, where do dates come from anyway?
Dates have been grown for thousands of years. There are numerous varieties of date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) grown around the world in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, but in North America the two main varieties available are Deglet Noor and Medjool. Deglet Noor dates tend to be drier and less wrinkled looking in appearance, and have a delicate honey flavour, whereas Medjool dates are soft, chewy and have a caramelly taste that makes them perfect for Creamy Date Spread.
Dates as snacks
Dates make a delicious and healthy snack. Just slice them, remove the pit and add a couple of Brazil nuts, some nut butter and hemp seeds or ground flax, some goat’s chevre and fresh rosemary, or try a sweet and savoury combination.
Dates in desserts
Dates are a wonderful way to sweeten desserts. The sticky texture of Medjool dates makes them excellent for binding dry ingredients together. Medjool dates combined with oats, almond meal or gluten free flours make a terrific base for squares like Cranberry Oat Squares. They bind well with almonds, coconut oil and raw cacao as a base for Strawberry Cheesecake or processed with pecans to make a tart shell for Rhubarb Strawberry Tart.
What are the health benefits of dates?
- Soluble fibre (beta-D-glucan) in dates slows the absorption of sugar to help support blood sugar balance. The soluble fibre also helps to add bulk to the stool which reduces constipation (1).
- Dates contain calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, which are necessary for healthy bones and teeth (2).
- Dates contain antioxidants to protect against free radical damage (3).
- The low sodium and high fiber content in dates makes them a good choice for people with hypertension (4).
- The high phenolic content in dates provides anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties (5).
If you make a batch of this Creamy Date Spread, be sure to leave me a note to let me know how you use it.
Creamy Date Spread
- 1 cup dates 10 plump Medjool dates
- ½ cup nut milk
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to food processor and process until smooth.