Happy 4th! So far, my weekend has been full of four important things: balls, dates, pits, and nuts. Ummmmmmmmmm, let me explain.
I’m LOVING this weekend, and here’s why:
Last night, I actually got to go just sit in Hanco’s with my laptop and some balls. My apartment was clean all the way down to the bathtub. I had absolutely no homework. I had opened, sorted, and filed all my mail from the past month. And I had been productive in the kitchen in terms of processing a bunch of foods that have been piling up!
First order of business was to do something with these random dried Asian dates that my mom gave me last time I visited MA. I’m not sure about the story behind these dates or what their official name is, but I know they are ridiculously sweet (almost too sweet, and that’s saying a lot coming from my mouth fingers) in a very maple-y sense.
I remembered from working with them to make this rhubarb pie that the flesh was difficult to separate from the pits, so I let them soak for a couple of hours to try to loosen things up. After the soak, I set to work on chopping and chopping and chopping. I ended up with a bowl of flesh and a bowl of fleshy pits. (That sounds SO appetizing.)
First, I addressed the flesh by immersion-blending it to within an inch of its life.
This “date” paste bore a striking resemblance to Artisana‘s line of Bliss spreads/butters (aka crack), so I decided to get some bliss of my own going! Into the bowl went a bunch of unsweetened shredded coconut from Let’s Do Organic along with coconut oil and coconut butter from Artisana.
I also added coarse sea salt (like I said, these dates are just too sweet on their own!) and some South of the Border pistachio-peanut–dark-chocolate-strawberry butter. Oh, did I forget to mention that I made SOTB pistachio-peanut-dark-chocolate-strawberry butter?
I used my Mr. Coffee bean grinder to get everything to the paste-stage for the butter. Not wanting to destroy a third kitchen appliance in the name of nut butter, I finished it off with the immersion blender until it got creamy. This is such an effective method … as long as my immersion blender does not die on me, too!
So, back to the date bliss, I added a couple tbsp of SOTBPPSCS butter and immersion-blended some more. (Seriously, I will do more than cry if this immersion blender breaks!) The blissful result:
Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I can’t wait to use this on everything.
Meanwhile, remember the fleshy [date] pits? I threw them in a pot with a boiling mix of soymilk and water in the hopes that the flesh would just melt off. No luck:
I gave it a few hours of simmering while I did productive things around the apartment, and then I just gave up and scooped out the fleshy pits, leaving the super-sweetened soymilk and water in the pot. I stirred in a few tbsp of ground flax, removed from heat, and poured the mixture into a bowl to chill. But it did not firm up quite enough due to the high ratio of liquid to flax:
So I added 3/4 cup oats for a little soak and came out with a nice, thick muesli-esque base:
Mmmmm, it actually tastes like maple brown sugar oatmeal because of the super maple-y essence of these dates! It appears that eating overnight flax-date oats has just joined the agenda for the weekend 😀
What are your four things for the 4th?