A Date (Paste) for Dessert

by Sarah on March 8, 2013 · 20 comments

In February, I was presented with the rare treat of teaching not only one, but two, cooking classes at Whole Foods.

As part of their Engine 2 Diet, 28-Day Challenge, each week there were sponsored workshops and cooking demos to support the (often) newly plant-strong participants, and I was lucky enough to not only teach a lunch-focused class (that I still like to think of as The Smart Kitchen Sandwich Shop) but also my very first class focused on desserts.

The Engine 2 Dietand the Whole Foods Health Starts Here program that evolved from its tenantscall for avoiding  processed sweeteners or any refined oils, and while you and I all know that sugar and oil do not always a dessert make, I wanted to get a bit more creative in my dessert delicacies than simply fancified fruit or whipped tofu mousse.

peach raspberry oat cake

 Mission accomplished.

frozen cinnamon date-nut cream pie

More on those in later days, because today I want to focus on something that anyone who has ever proclaimed love for raw tarts or Larabars knows all too well (and Miss Smart wishes she got more of ;)):


Did you know that when you soak dates–much like when you soak cashews or pistachios–magic can happen?

They might look like little poo*—

*And I don’t mean of the Winnie variety.

someone had to say it.

–but oh my goll, y’all

Soak them for an afternoon or overnight, then blend them up in a food processor, and you have a natural sweetener on your lips hands that is almost sinful on its own.

Add vanilla extract and carob powder, and you’ve made yourself a Carob ‘Fondue’ that is deliciously decadent.

(Let’s be honest, it’s really just Carob Sauce. Unless you considering the lack of patience that led me to dunk strawberries directly in the food processor bowl–in front of my class–an appropriate fondue form.)

 It also forms the base of one of the best treats I have ever made.*

*And the clear star of the show at my class.

just y'all wait...

Even better yet, not only do you get perfection from the plumped up poo dates…you also end up with leftover date-infused pee water.

Which I can tell you from experience is not only really delicious to drink straight up, also makes for a crazy good breakfast…

….when you use it (perhaps diluted a little bit) to cook up your oats.

Dearest date paste, I don’t know where you’ve been–

–but I sure am happy you are here with me now.


Any post that references poo* and pee in glowing forms of eatable adoration deserves a Strange But Good nod, no?

*Not my first time in the toilet.

Make sure to check in with Laura today to see who else has joined the potty! [Errr–I mean…party.]