Dates are what some people like to call “nature’s candy” and after making this recipe, you will find out why. Hints of salty, savory and sweet come together in this recipe to create the perfect balance of flavors. Dates provide that deep caramel like sweet flavor. Be sure to use medjool dates since they are extra moist and sticky, they are sold at most speciality food stores (I buy them from my local Ingles and Sams). Lucuma powder provides a subtle malty flavor while tahini adds a unique savory flavor. You can find lucuma powder online or at whole foods (or another health food store). Lucuma is actually an exotic fruit cherished by the Incas and is similar to the persimmon in appearance.Tahini or sesame seed butter, can be found beside the nut butters in almost any large grocery store. This recipe is very versatile and can be tweaked to meet your desires sub peanut butter for tahini or add in some cocoa powder instead of lucuma. You can also serve this at a party or get together as a dip alongside apple or pear slices!
1 ½ cups fresh medjool dates (not the sunmaid kind)
1-2 tbs tahini
½-1 tsp salt
1 tbs lucuma powder (optional but recommended)
½ cup chopped raw pecans or walnuts
¼ cup pure water (for thinning)
About 6 tart/sweet local or organic apples (I used cameo and golden delicious)
wooden sticks for the apples
Ribbon if giving them as gifts!
Slice dates in half and remove the pit, then soak in pure water for about 2-3 hours. When the dates are done soaking, drain them and add to a high speed blender with a plunger attachment or a food processor along with all other ingredients. Puree until completely smooth, it may take a minute to get perfectly smooth but it is well worth it! Add more water if needed and set aside while you prepare the apples.
Wash 6 small apples and insert the sticks (center them as best as possible). Carefully cover the apple in caramel with a spoon, then finish it off with a sprinkle of chopped nuts, pushing them into the caramel to make sure they do not fall off. You can also add a pinch of salt on top of the final creation just to add an extra contrast of flavor.
* optionally you can toast the nuts if you do not want this recipe to be raw. Chopped dark chocolate or cacao nibs would also be a