There are times when I find out that something I always thought to be true is definitely not the case. This happens quite frequently with word pronunciation. Let me give you an example. Recently, I learned I had been pronouncing “fungi” wrong all my life. In case you were wondering, the word should be pronounced with a soft g (listen here). I had always said “fun-GUY”. Wrong.
Moments like these make me wonder: what else am I wrong about, that I am quite convinced I know to be true? The thought leaves me feeling unsettled, but quite curious.
Dates were another one of those misunderstood things. I used to hate them with every bone in my body. The sight and the smell would leave me cowering in a corner (or a somewhat more polite refusal of the baked good they were covering).
Now, I can’t get enough. They’re amazing for adding sweetness to baked goods in a more wholesome way than white sugar can. That’s because by eating the whole date, you’re also consuming fibre and minerals. Dates’ sticky nature means they work like magic binders in baked goods. I use them as a filling in my cinnamon buns, and in a no-bake pie crust here, here, and here. They’re also the base of my mint chocolate truffle bites.
In these pumpkin date bars, dates are responsible for sticking and sweetening. Since I don’t like overpowering sweetness, I added pumpkin to take the edge off. It was a great decision since it made the bars fit right in with the smell of autumn in the air.
I’m glad I was wrong about dates. But now I wonder, what other foods can I re-discover?
- 2 cups pitted dates
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 and ½ cups rolled oats
- Add the dates, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon to a food processor. Process until combined and the dates have become a sticky paste.
- Dump the date mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the oats and stir to combine.
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Dump the date and oat mixture into the pan and press down with a spatula. Alternative, place a piece of parchment paper on top and smooth over with your hands.
- Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours) before slicing. Store in the fridge for up to a week, or wrap individually and store in the freezer.
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