Sunday, January 9, 2011

Honey Stuffed Dates

Happy snow storm! It is afternoons like this when I remember why I live in Vermont in the winter…. I could sit and watch the flurries ramble down for hours. A quick walk up the road with my goofy-happy dog and it is even more clear…. What a beautiful place we live!

Anyway, the bad news is that the power is out, so I am typing this and hoping to be able to post it later tonight. I was in the middle of making my first batch of homemade paint getting frustrated that my wheat paste wasn’t thickening when I realized, wait, nothing is lit or heating. So, alas, we will move on to tastier topics, such as Honey Stuffed Dates. 

This recipe is very Mediterranean where it is common to serve dried fruit, rich yogurt and savory nuts to finish a meal. A subtle sweet with a certain complexity that goes beyond most overly saccharine American desserts, this treat will truly satisfy your evening cravings.

Medjool dates are large, plump and delightfully gooey on the inside. They typically come with pits that have to be removed. Simply make a small hole on each end with a sharp knife and gently squeeze the pit until it pokes out of one side and you are able to remove it with your fingers or kitchen tweezers. I like to increase the size of the hole a little more with some additional knife twisting, to make plenty of room for the rich and zesty filling. Dates are a wonderful source of natural fiber, and are cleansing and astringent to the intestinal tract.

This dessert does a little advanced planning as you need to begin straining the yogurt the night before. The easiest way to do this is with a large piece of cheese cloth or extra large tea bag.  Once you have it contained, twist at the top and hang from the faucet so that the excess liquid (whey) can drip throughout the night. If you are feeling ambitious, collect the whey to use the next time you make Kimchi instead of some of the salt. It is a fabulous source of probiotic bacteria as well as potassium and Vitamin B6 and helps retard the growth of the "bad" bacteria, just as the salt does, during the fermentation process.

Honey Stuffed Dates
Serves 8

24 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup strained plain whole-milk yogurt (see above for tips on straining)
1 orange, zested and supremed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs. raw honey
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
1 tbs. bee pollen (optional)


Pit and prepare dates as described above. In a medium bowl, mix the strained yogurt, orange zest, vanilla and honey. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag with a medium tip (or a sturdy plastic bag with one corner snipped in a pinch).  Carefully insert tip into each of the date and squeeze until the filling fills the cavity and begins to exit. Add a generous dallop on each end.

Mixed chopped almonds and bee pollen thoroughly in a small bowl. Dip each stuffed date end into the mixture and spin to coat.

Serve with orange wedges or other fresh fruit.

Relax. Eat Well.


  1. Thanks for sharing it........
    It is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids.
    Raw Honey

  2. This raw honey came from Eden Hills Apiary from my friend's father. It is to die for. If you live in the area and need some amazing local honey, let me know and I can try to hook you up!

  3. In reference to the orange can you explain supremed?
    I love dates, but I covet black mission figs stuffed with almond butter. I might try filling them with some of this mixture as well along with the dates. Happy to have found your blog.

  4. So glad you found it too!! Supreming is a way of slicing a citrus fruit so that you cut around the membrane while separating each segment. In the end you have a slice of fruit with no skin, seed, pith or membrane, just bursting with juice and flavor. It is a little fancy-shmancy and totally not necessary, but a nice touch if you are going classy.

    yyuumm I can't wait to try your fig and almond butter combo, sounds delish!