Spicy Date, Apple, and Cheese Dip

Here's a naturally sweet spread for toast, scones, and muffins.

from Eat to Beat Diabetes

Their natural sweetness makes dates an excellent ingredient for desserts, cakes, and chutneys. Here they are cooked until thick and smooth with an apple and aromatic spices, then blended with cream cheese to make a sweet and spicy dip for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Quick look

  • prep 20 min    cook 15 min
  • serves 1 1/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 green cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 extra-large cooking apple, such as Jonathan, McIntosh, Rome Beauty, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried dates
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel),at room temperature

To serve as a dip for cruditês such as: Wedges of red and green apples Carrot, celery, and cucumber sticks Wedges of fresh pineapple, seedless grapes, strawberries

    How to make it  35 minutes

  • 1

    If using cardamom pods, lightly crush them with the flat side of a chef ‘s knife to split them open, then remove the seeds. Discard the pods and crush the seeds with the side of the knife. (This can be done with a mortar and pestle.) If using ground cardamom, omit this step.

  • 2

    Mix the apple, dates, crushed cardamom seeds, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium saucepan, then add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

  • 3

    Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the apple is tender and the dates are pulpy, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool.

  • 4

    When the apple mixture is cool, stir the cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy, then blend in the fruit mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. (The dip will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

  • 5

    Serve the dip in a shallow bowl or dish, place on a platter, and surround with an assortment of fruit and vegetable crudités.

Healthy Cooking Tip

Use this cream cheese dip as a filling between layers of spice or carrot cake instead of frosting. Try this dip as a filling for crêpes or as an accompaniment for French toast.

Plus Points

  • Neufchâtel is cream cheese that is made with one-third less fat and is slightly moister than regular cream cheese. It’s perfect for adding creaminess and flavor to this dip.
  • The apple and dried dates are high in fiber. Dates are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to regulate the balance of fluids in the body.
  • Both cinnamon and cardamom are thought to help relieve indigestion.

Nutritional Information(per serving)

  • Calories: 83
  • Calories from Fat: 44
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 16mg
  • Sodium: 96mg
  • Carbs: 8mg
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fiber: 1g

  • Each serving (two tablespoons dip)
  • Exchanges: fruit 1/2, fat 1

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