[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”10 min” cook_time=”15 min” serves=”4″ details=”” ]
In this dip, dates are cooked until smooth and pulpy with apple and aromatic spices to create a dip to serve with fruit and vegetable pieces. Alternatively, use this as an unusual topping for toast, scones or sweet crostini made with fruit bread.
[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1 large green apple, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3⁄4 cup (140 g) roughly chopped pitted dried dates
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 7/8 cup water
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
Crudités, such as wedges of red and green apples, carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, wedges of pineapple, seed-less grapes and slices of carambola (star fruit)
[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=””]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ] Lightly crush the cardamom pods 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 also be done with a mortar and pestle.)[/step-item]
[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Put the apple, dates, crushed cardamom seeds, cinnamon and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are cooked and the dates are pulpy. Stir the mixture occasionally during cooking.[/step-item]
[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Remove from the heat and leave to cool. When the apple mixture is cold, beat in the ricotta cheese. Keep, covered, in the refrigerator until needed. (The dip will keep for 3–4 days.)[/step-item]
[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Serve in a shallow bowl or dish surrounded by an assortment of fruit and vegetable crudités.[/step-item][/step-list-wrapper]
Date, Apple and Orange Dip: Omit the ricotta and instead beat in the grated zest and juice of 1 large orange. Pile into a bowl and serve surrounded with wedges of apple and pear, and sticks of celery and carrot.
Cardamom seeds can be sold separately but the flavor is better if you buy the pods and crush them to release the seeds.
Ricotta is a soft Italian cheese made from the whey drained off when making cheeses such as mozzarella. It has a high moisture content, which makes it lower in calories and fat than many other soft, creamy cheeses.
In common with all cheeses, ricotta is a good source of calcium and it contains vitamins A and D. Less of these vitamins are present in low-fat cheeses such as ricotta – vitamin D is fat-soluble, so the less fat in the cheese, the less vitamin D – but the amounts are still useful.
The apple and dried dates provide useful amounts of fiber.
Both cinnamon and cardamom can help to relieve indigestion. Also, cinnamon acts as a nasal decongestant.
[nutrition-info calories=”205″ calories_fat=”” fat=”7g” sat_fat=”4g” choles=”” sodium=”129mg” carbs=”29g” sugars=”” protein=”7g” fiber=”4g”]