When you start as a raw foodie, you probably start off by eating cut vegetables, fruits, and some nuts. This is a great way to start. No need to figure out what to make, or even how to eat! Simple. Straightforward. But soon this too much simplicity leads leads to a quest for complexity. You know, humans hate having to live life without complications and WORK to do! We want problems to be thrown at us to resolve. Some activity for the brain so it doesn’t become non-essential. Or at least so we think! We want the joy of creating something. So you would wonder what else you could do to make your raw food more exciting.
Let’s see you want to create a recipe that is wholesome, filling, refreshing, simple, yet tasty. So you throw in some leafy greens, vegetables, few fruits, perhaps some lemon juice too for vitamin C, and some nuts as well into your high speed blender, and pour in some chilled water and ice too. You could pretty much savour this after it is blended for a minute or two. But here is the problem. The smoothie is flat and mostly bland except for that lemon juice as a saving. Why? All those vegetables you had thrown in and the nuts too, barely have any strong taste of their own and get further diluted with the water. Just add few dates as well in the ingredients and see how the magic happens. Wow! Wasn’t this awesome? What a game changer! Try it . . . . and you know what I am saying. And I didn’t even mention all that rich nutrition you will get from dates alone. Dates work as a GREAT sweetener for those wanting to give up white sugar, and honey for not being vegan. Small quantity of dates provide lot of sweetness . . . . and in a healthy way!
Okay. That’s done for the breakfast. Now you are in for an evening snack. You are looking for something that will give some work to your teeth and something to ‘chew-on’. Possibly you are now a bit hungry too, but not willing to eat a whole meal. Wouldn’t it be nice if there is a complex mix of flavours that you could relish for the evening? Let’s say you want to have mix of sourness from dried cranberries, the lightly sweet blueberries, almonds for the crunch, the enticing sunflower seeds for health and so on. And possibly some cocoa as well, that you have been missing by not eating store bought cookies and brownies. But how will you eat all of these together? Can’t have a mix of them in your hand or spoon to feed into mouth, right? Plus, how will you balance out the bitterness from cocoa (or cacao) powder? Simple! Just throw in some dates in the food processor and process until it becomes a soft dough. Now add the rest of the ingredients too and process again briefly only until the nuts become small pieces. Now make balls with hand and you will see the magic of dates. They work both as a binding agent as well as a sweetener to balance the cocoa (optional) you added. This is another great utility of dates. They are fantastic as a binding agent. Make several recipes a possibility! Raw Brownies is another great possibility, using walnuts or pecans, and cocoa as primary ingredients along with dates.
Okay. It’s after dark and you had your dinner already. Now you want to have some sweet such as chocolates. Them being loaded with white sugar and a host of artificial ingredients, it is not open option for you now, now that you call yourself a ‘raw foodie’. No need to worry. Pull out your high speed blender and add in some cashews, a few hazelnuts, cocoa (unsweetened please) or cacao powder, little bit of coconut oil, and DATES! Blend them until it becomes a very smooth dough. Now press it into some moulds or shapes however you choose. Hold them in freezer just for an hour or two until it firms up. You don’t need refrigeration afterwards. These can stay in a bottle for however long you can retain them without eating. They are so delicious and not being guilty of eating sugary stuff, probably you don’t let them last for more than a week or two, although . . . . THEY could. The power of dates is so that they don’t need refrigeration and can remain at room temperature with no special storage requirement.
These are just a few examples of how dates could be used. One could make ice creams, sauces and dressings, and so on. YOUR creativity only holds the limit. Them being excellent binders and have great sweet taste that goes with anything, and especially due to their rich nutrition, they become part of my food and could for yours too, almost on daily basis!
Let me know what you think. More Ideas? Please share.