I’m sitting on my living room floor surrounded by moving boxes, bubble wrap and piles of crockery to send to the op shop. Baby Joan is asleep in the pram and I’m giving her a rock every now and then to try and extend the nap as long as possible. We’re moving in three days and there’s still a bit to do.
Despite the need for me to pack my pantry and throw out expired bags of flour I never got around to using last year as a result of baby-growing-induced nausea, I’ve chosen to sit and type a blog post. I knew I wanted to share one more recipe from our kitchen by the beach before we move on to a new chapter of our lives. This time last year I was about to discover I was pregnant. I’d suddenly realise why I felt perpetually hungover and why coffee and porridge sounded repulsive, but the thought of a McChicken burger gave me the good kind of chills. I told you I used to Google images of McChickens and send them to my brother while I choked down some sort of healthy, muesli preparation for breakfast in the early weeks of pregnancy, didn’t I? True story. Well, I am pleased to say that I am slowly getting back into the kitchen. In the moments that Joan lets me stop watching her try as hard as she might to build her arm strength, I am filling my recipe notebook with snacks and simple preparations for our little family. They’re not fancy, but they do the trick.
This recipe happened after a desire to continue eating dates and nuts, yet a boredom of date balls. I know, I know, I just shared a date ball recipe, but that only confirms the number I’ve been eating these past few months. You can’t beat them. Dates + nuts + whatever other ingredients my mood dictates = a truly wonderful snack, powering me to last just a little longer between meals when it becomes clear I won’t be eating breakfast/lunch/dinner for a while due to to a suddenly crying baby/poo explosion/Joan demanding I take a front seat while she works out. Dates and nuts, yes please! But let’s move away from balls try something new. How about a date log?…
As always with these recipes, taste and adjust as desired. The key here is to get the texture right and form it into a log before leaving it in the fridge to live its life. I originally tried this recipe with extra virgin olive oil, as I’m nuts for the stuff and think it pairs beautifully with dates, however coconut oil keep everything solid in a way olive oil wont, so that’s why I went the coconut road. It’s super simple to make and even simpler to devour. Just slice a portion, shove it in your mouth and help your baby do push ups. Or, as I suppose I should be doing, pack your darn pantry.
* Just FYI, I wrote this blog post on new years day. We have indeed already moved!
Date and Cardamom Log
100g pitted Medjool dates (~6)
¼ cup almond meal
1 & ½ – 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
a pinch of ground cardamom, to taste
a small pinch of sea salt
- Combine the dates and nuts in a food processor and blend until finely chopped and combined.
- Add the melted coconut oil, cardamom and salt and blend briefly until combined. Add more coconut oil if required (i.e. if your dates are a bit dry)
- Taste and adjust for flavor as necessary. Keep in mind it will taste less sweet once it’s been chilled in the refrigerator.
4. Scoop the mixture out onto a piece of baking paper. Form it into a log using slightly moist hands, making sure its in the middle of the baking paper but closer to the edge closest to you (if that makes any sense…if it doesn’t, just wing it). You’ll now roll the paper over the log to keep it snug and to help it form into a proper log (though from my pictures above you can see how it’s still a bit crumbly as I was in a rush). I put elastic bands over the ends to keep the paper down. Store it in the fridge and eat slices as you wish.