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.
[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”20 min” cook_time=”15 min” serves=”1 1/4 cup” details=”” ]
[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]
- 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
[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=”35 minutes”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]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.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]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.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]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.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]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.)[/step-item]
[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ] Serve the dip in a shallow bowl or dish,
place on a platter, and surround with an
assortment of fruit and vegetable crudités.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]
[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.[/cooking_tip]
- 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.
[nutrition-info calories=”83″ calories_fat=”44″ fat=”5g” sat_fat=”3g” choles=”16mg” sodium=”96mg” carbs=”8mg” sugars=”7g” protein=”3g” fiber=”1g”]
- Each serving (two tablespoons dip)
- Exchanges: fruit 1/2, fat 1