Dried fruits like dates are a good source of fibre and minerals like iron. This easy to make spread tastes great and is ideal for naturally sweetening other dishes.
During the drying process water is removed from fruit so it makes sense to rehydrate when consuming otherwise they can be hard to digest and may cause bloating.
Some manufacturers may add the chemical sulphur dioxide as a preservative and to maintain bright fruit colours.
If possible, try and source dried fruits which do not contain sulphur dioxide as some people may be sensitive to this chemical.
Dried fruit is it is a concentrated source of fruit sugar and can quickly add to calorific intake. Rehydrating helps to address this issue.
1 cup dried dates
water to soak dates
- Wash dried dates with a solution of bicarbonate soda in water or use a specialised soap for washing fruits and vegetables to remove surface dirt.
- Cover the washed fruit with filtered water and leave until the fruit is soft in texture.
This may take around 2-4 hours depending on how dry the dates are.
- Check the rehydrated dates for any stones which need to be removed before blending.
- Puree the dates in a blender to make a paste.
Store the date spread in a glass jar and keep refrigerated. Use within a week.
Benefits of Date Spread
- Date spread will be easier to digest than dried dates
- Helps to ease conditions like constipation.
- The fibre contained within date spread slows down the release of fructose (fruit sugar) into the blood and prevents the liver from processing large amounts of fructose in one go.
- Use this natural date spread to replace spreads like jam and marmalade, which contain high levels of refined sugar.
- Date spread is an excellent natural sweetener for porridge, smoothies and yoghurt.
- Use this spread to flavour savoury dishes like middle eastern tagine dishes or sauces like tomato sauce in place of sugar.
- Date spread is a dietary source of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and copper.
- Contains the antioxidant beta carotene and may also contain small amounts of the B vitamins and vitamin C.