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This spread was inspired by Lindsay, who left a message for me about the Maple Pumpkin Butter Spread. Lindsay can’t eat nuts, seeds or coconut and she asked what could be used instead of the coconut butter/manna. I thought long and hard about it, I wanted to make it work for her.
This morning, I stumbled into the kitchen with bed-head at its best and I had one of those, “aah-haa” moments! DATES! Sometimes when we over think things we miss the obvious. Dates not only provide sweetness, they are wonderful for thickening recipes.
I am very picky about the dates that I use in my raw recipes… I am a fan of Medjool dates. They are sweet, tender, exceptionally large compared to other dried dates. Medjool dates can replace sugar or honey, they taste like caramel, and have a deeper, more complex flavor then many other sweeteners. From a health standpoint, they are a good source of fiber and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
To select the best Medjool dates, look for ones that are organically grown and not treated with sulfur, which is used to preserve their color. Medjools have a wrinkly skin, dense but soft to the touch. Medjools will sometimes form a white powder film on the skin, these are just the natural sugars coming to the surface, which does not affect the flavor or quality.
Place the dates into an airtight container and leave at room temperature. They can be stored in this manner for up to one week. Move the container of dates into the refrigerator to store for 6 months. Freeze the dates in an airtight container if you want to store your dates for up to 1 year. If you store them in the fridge or freezer, please give them time to warm up to room temperature before using.
So, here you go Lindsay, and all of you who can’t eat coconut butter… I present to you…
yields 1 cup