We often hear of date recipes with dried dates, the ones that are dark brown in color and slightly shriveled in appearance. However, the date fruit is also available in the fresh variety, before they are dried. These yellow gems are delicious to taste and packed with goodness too. Mentioned below are three recipes which require fresh dates and are a must try.
Apple and fresh date crumble
Take three peeled and chopped apples and 1 cup of pitted fresh dates in a pan. Add half a cup of fresh orange juice, ¼ cup brown sugar, a pinch of salt, one cinnamon stick and one star anise flower to the pan and bring all the ingredients to a boil. Cook until the fruits have softened slightly.
Remove the cinnamon stick and the flower and transfer the mix to a few single serving-sized, oven-proof dishes. In another bowl, mix together half a cup of almond slivers, 2 tbsp. grated coconut, 3 tbsp. rolled oats, and 1 tbsp. each of oil, brown sugar and all-purpose flour. Sprinkle this mix on the apple and date mix and bake the crumble at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Once done, serve with vanilla ice cream.
Pear, fresh dates and pomegranate juice salad
For the dressing, squeeze the juice out of one fourth of the pomegranate seeds of one fruit in a bowl and discard the pulp. Add 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. grated ginger and a pinch of cinnamon to the juice and mix well. In another bowl, take 10-15 chopped and pitted fresh dates and one pear chopped into small pieces. You may choose to toss the pear with 1 tsp. lemon juice to add some tanginess to the fruit. Finally add the remaining pomegranate seeds and dressing. Toss together and serve.
Candied fresh dates
Peel ¾ kg of fresh dates. Place them in a pot or saucepan and fill with water until covered. Simmer for about half an hour until they are soft. Remove the dates once they have cooled slightly and de-seed them. You may choose to stuff each date with an almond or pistachio. Put the dates back in the vessel and add 2 ½ cups sugar and leave overnight. Next morning, remove the dates and add water accordingly to the syrup formed (you may need about 4 cups), and a couple of cloves and boil. Add some lemon juice once the syrup has reached a boil. Place the dates back in the syrup and simmer again for half an hour. Allow them to cool before storing in jars or in the refrigerator.