Hey, hey, hey! Who’s ready for a new holiday recipe? I know you’ve been waiting for something you can make this holiday season that’s not loaded with gunk. Yes, gunk. You know…that processed, gunky junk that’s sold in boxes and advertised as ‘healthy’. Steer clear of those booby traps and instead sweeten up your holiday dishes with a very special ingredient that I’m using today. If you’re familiar with my cookbook, Eating Clean, then you’re familiar with Natural Delights Medjool Dates and how fabulous they are. THESE, folks, have changed my life. Why? Read on and I’ll tell you all about it.
So, let’s start off talking about these Medjool dates for a little bit, shall we? Then we’ll hop on over to this roasted squash dish that’s ideal for your Thanksgiving table. It might not look like your Traditional Turkey Day side dish but trust me folks- it’s time to give that T-day table a big ol’ makeover that involves kale, squash and dates. You’ll thank me. Actually, your entire extended family will thank me, but that’s another story.
So, these Medjool dates. O’ let me count the ways to use them. When I was creating this recipe I was trying to think of a creative way to make a naturally sweet dressing (in this case a ‘drizzle’) that could be used to coat warm, roasted veggies and lots of salad toss-in’s. After a little brainstorming, my mind went right to almond butter. Why? Well, because it’s creamy. It’s super tasty. And it’s naturally sweet. So, I went to town on creating a drizzle that had a little punch of flavor to it, which is were these Medjool dates come in. Talk about flavor. O-M-G. YES. Once you use them, you’ll never got back to adding sugar or honey or maple syrup to dressings ever again. You’ll see. So, I whirled around the almond butter with these tender Medjool dates, freshly squeezed orange juice, sea salt and pepper to make a dazzling dressing. I also added a pinch of orange zest for an extra sweet touch. I know you’re all sweet enough already but this is just something extra!
Intimidated by Medjool dates? I hear you. I was too at first but there’s not need to fret. I’ve got you covered. Just open up the box, remove the pit and enjoy. Here’s a few ways I love to use these Medjool dates: slice the Medjool date in half and stuff a scoop of almond butter inside and eat as a snack // add Medjool dates to a food processor until it forms a sticky consistency and add it to smoothies, oatmeal and pudding recipes // toss a few chopped Medjool dates into your granola recipe like my Grain-Free Granola recipe in my cookbook // add some thinly sliced dates to your salads, stir-fries and tomato sauce for a naturally sweet touch without any refined sugar.
And here are a few recipes where I used these Natural Delights Medjool Dates previously so you can use up your entire box of dates this month with all these goodies.
- Easy Tomato Quinoa Tower with Magical Carrot Sauce
- Roasted Acorn Squash Bowl with Creamy Cider and Spice Dressing
- Easy Raw Chocolate Banana Tart with Grain-Free Crust from my cookbook
I know these pictures are making you hungry….so I won’t tease you anymore. Dive in, have fun and remember to take a minute to savor these naturally sweet flavors. Your taste buds will become acclimated to these naturally sweet flavors and they’ll no longer crave that refined sugar gunk. The next time you see any gunk in the food store- think of me, giggle, buy some Natural Delights Medjool dates instead and walk away.
- 1 butternut squash, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. creamy almond butter
- 2 Natural Delights Medjool dates, pitted
- Juice of 1 large orange (might need 2 large oranges if your almond butter brand is a thick consistency)
- Pinch orange zest, if desired
- 1 head flat dinosaur kale, finely chopped and ends trimmed
- 1 small head purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. raw walnuts
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roast the squash for 40 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Then peel the skin and cut the squash with a sharp knife into ½ inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, combine the creamy almond butter, Medjool dates, orange juice, sea salt and pepper to taste in a small food processor or high speed blender and puree until smooth. Add a pinch of orange zest, if desired. Note that my almond butter was very liquidy- so if your almond butter is really thick, you may need more orange juice to get a drizzle consistency. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, red onion, bell pepper, scallions, walnuts and parsley. Add the roasted squash on top. Drizzle the Medjool date drizzle on top, season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.
This post was sponsored by Natural Delights. All opinions are my own.