Dates have been high on my priority list since my trip to Morocco late last year. I just cannot stop eating them! They have been extremely useful in my efforts to cut down on cookies, cakes and, and , and. Although I have always loved them, I have never quite appreciated the true nature of this dried fruit. Besides being a good source of fiber, dates are very rich in vitamin A1, C, B1, B2 and B3, they contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. Furthermore, they have have supposedly nearly 20 type of amino acids to assist along with the digestive process. So, it is something I can really enjoy and know that I am doing something good for my body at the same time!

I truly love the medjool dates most. They are rightly known as the “King of Dates” and are clearly are superior in terms of their size, and the moist chewiness on texture. I sometimes taste a caramel flavour oozing out of the plump dates….

A few Sundays ago, when feeling the need for a luscious cake, I realised that I no eggs in the refrigerator ( I had used up 12 eggs the night before making countless chocolate chip cookies), no dairy, and less than a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I did, however, have loads of dates, almond milk, and a bit of whole wheat flour so I decided to try a recipe a friend of mine gave me some time ago for a date loaf:

The result was a remarkably moist and tender-crumbed cake with a luscious-ly dark, warm, juicy, soft date-caramel flavoured crust, if I can even call it that. You will truly enjoy this and is easy as 1,2,3.

Date (nut) Loaf
  • 1 1/2 cups of medjool dates (halved and pitted)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil 8( I used olive oil)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts or any nuts of your choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 320 Fahrenheit or 180 Celsius.
  2. Line a cake or bread pan with parchment/baking paper.
  3. Heat the almond milk (or whichever milk you use) to lukewarm.
  4. Soak the dates in the warm milk until they become soft.
  5. Add the sugar.
  6. Pour the entire mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Then pour in the oil and mix together.
  8. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon baking soda.
  9. Slowly add the date mixture into the flour mixture until well combined.
  10. Lastly, add the nuts and you are ready to bake it!
  11. Bake the loaf for about 35 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  12. Enjoy!!!
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

cynthia carrington September 25, 2010 at 3:55 am

Hi Paula,
Your Mom clued me in.
I enjoyed your blog: know exactly how you feel about preparing food for people.
I tend to be really eccentric with some of my experiments,the main principle being to use whatever is in season in as many ways as possible.
Right now peewah is in season,so I’ve served diced p. instead of carrots in veg. quiche;creamed p. with cheddar as a filling for puffs;mixed some left-over filling in with split-peas batter for saheena and baiganee;and am planning to try it in accra mix and cake(like carrot) and in punch (like peanuts).
A pet peeve of mine is that we don’t substitute enough of our local foods.Last week I made a dough from cassava and breadfruit,stuffed pieces with curried crabmeat,and steamed it in coconut milk to make a cocktail-snack version of crab-and-dumplings.
i’ve had to be innovative because I’m catering for an Alpha group of 50 who have special needs;apart from the diabetics and hypertensives, I have one lactose intolerant, one gluten intolerant, one shellfish allergic, and one citrus allergic, plus about eight veg./vegans!

Your soda bread looks like my wholewheat coconut bake,except for the shape.I also don’t knead the daylights out of it, the way we tend to,so it’s crumbly like southern American soda biscuits.

Looking forward to more of your culinary escapades!
Cynthia.

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