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Comforting, simple recipes using dates that you can easily create at home


Here at Global Foods, we obsess about dates. Mostly the quality and provenance of the dates we supply to our customers, but also about how to use them. We’re not just a company selling all manner of dates and date products. We love dates and love finding new and exciting ways to use them in recipes (both sweet and savoury in nature).  

This year has been a strange, often frightening and stressful year for all of us. The coronavirus pandemic has meant job losses, money worries and health concerns and it’s also meant that many of us are now spending more time at home.  

With local lockdown measures being implemented in some parts of the country and stricter regulations for all now coming into force again since cases have begun to rise once more, more time at home means that home working, potentially home schooling, Netflix and every day feeling like the same day could all become the norm again.  

But it also potentially gives us the chance to think more about what we’re eating and learning to enjoy home cooking could become one of our favourite pastimes. Home cooked food is nourishing, satisfying (in more ways than one) and wholesome. And now that the colder months are with us, who isn’t craving warming soups, stews and one pot meals?! 

The possibilities of cooking with dates are endless, so in this article, we’re going to celebrate the recipes you can make from the comfort of your own kitchen (whether or not it now also doubles up as your office space) that make the most of dates. 

So grab your apron, clear a space and channel your inner Nigella or Gordon. Let’s cook! 

Moroccan harira soup 

I love making this soup because it’s honestly amazing. Made using ginger, paprika, turmeric and cumin, there’s nothing about it that doesn’t satisfy. Rich in colour, texture (thanks to the chickpeas) and flavour this harira soup recipe from David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl Andersen from Green Kitchen Travels is warm, indulgent and super tasty. It’s suitable for vegans, but all the meat lovers I’ve tried it on love it too.  

David and Luise suggest that the dates are an optional side to this soup, but we think they’re a must. They help to up the ante in the flavour stakes by highlighting the spices and add a wonderful roundness to the dish. I make it in batches and freeze portions so that I always have some to hand. 

Savoury date recipes with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 

Now you know that dates can be added to savoury recipes, your culinary world is about to open up wildly! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall might be a super skilled and talented TV chef of old, but his recipes are always wholesome and full of fresh, healthy ingredients, and they’re not at all difficult to follow.  

These recipes using dates include a one pot spiced chicken dish with dates that have been slowly cooked to become soft and even sweeter, complementing the cumin and coriander perfectly.  

There’s also a recipe for a salad combining the sweetness of dates with the saltiness of blue cheese – a match made in heaven, we think! And whoever said that salads were only for the summer anyway? 

Date and feta tart  

Talking of sweetness mixed with a salty cheese, this savoury date and feta tart is amazing. It makes an ideal starter if you’re planning a fancy three course meal, or a lovely lunch. They can be made in bulk too, and eaten for lunch the following day. Ideal if you’re busy and don’t have time to stop for lunch.  

Sticky toffee pudding 

It’s hard to come by anyone who doesn’t like sticky toffee pudding. Satisfyingly sweet and indulgent, it makes the perfect winter dessert, especially when smothered in hot custard.  

The boys from BOSH!, Henry Firth and Ian Theasby created this sticky toffee pudding recipe with pitted dates as the hero ingredient. In fact, there’s actually no toffee in this sticky toffee pudding, with the stickiness and sweetness all coming from dates (and brown sugar). 

BOSH! always make their recipes fun, and this one can bring the whole family together, measuring, weighing, mixing and popping in the oven. And since it’s also a fully plant based recipe, you can even lick the bowl afterwards, since there’s no raw egg to worry about!  

Sweet treats with Deliciously Ella

Continuing with the sweet theme, chef and businesswoman, Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella seriously can’t get enough of dates in her recipes. Admittedly, she does use dates in all manner of savoury recipes, such as these whole roasted cumin and date carrots.  

But the majority of her date recipes are for sweet treats and breakfast bars. She often uses Medjool dates but, in our view, any dates will do.  

We absolutely love her almond butter rocky roads since most of the sweetness comes from dates, plus some maple syrup. Once you’ve made these, it’ll be difficult not to eat them all in one go, so watch out!  

If you’re looking for a dessert to top all desserts and make you look like a culinary genius, then you simply have to try making Deliciously Ella’s chocolate orange tart. Chocolatey, citrussy and sweet (thanks to both pitted, chopped dates and syrupy date paste) it’s a real centrepiece and tastes incredible.  

For something simple, yet effective (you don’t have to tell your family or house mates how easy this recipe is, we won’t tell either), try Ella’s cacao and avocado mousse. Again, using pitted dates and date syrup, all the ingredients for this light, yet indulgent mousse are literally just added to a blender and whizzed together. We told you it was simple! 

Whatever you decide to make with your dates, enjoy. We supply dates in all their guises to chefs and organisations creating delicious recipes and products. So make sure you make it Global Foods!

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