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You’ve probably had stuffed dates before. Maybe you’ve even made them yourself. Stuffed dates are a little retro, very versatile, widely adored, and easy. We’ve added a twist to the classic method with Garam Masala spice and a mild goat cheese from Spain called Cana de Cabra.
Native to India, Garam Masala is a blend of spices made from a combination of cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. These spices have a warming effect on our body.
Cana de Cabra, the cheese from Spain, has a soft and bloomy tang that takes the dates from cloyingly to pleasantly sweet. Goat’s milk cheese can be easier to digest than cheese made from cow’s milk. This could be because the fat molecules in goat milk are shorter, finer, and thus easier for enzymes to break apart.
For the preparation, stuff the dates with the cheese, toss them gently with melted coconut oil infused with the Garam Masala, then roast them gently at a low heat until the Cana de Cabra has just started to melt. Set the dates out at a party and watch them disappear. Because dates are sweet, this recipe can be served either as an hors d’oeuvre or dessert.
For a dairy-free version, stuff each date with an almond instead of cheese.
12 pitted Medjool or Deglet Nour dates (or as many as you’d like to make)
Cana de Cabra (or other mild and creamy goat’s milk cheese)
¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
1-2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Slit dates lengthwise by running a sharp paring knife down the length of one side. You want to end up with one piece that you can unroll rather than splitting the date in half.
2) Using a small spoon or your hands, spread a small amount (about 2 teaspoons) of softened goat cheese down the middle of each date. Gently squeeze the date shut and add to a bowl.
3) Once all dates have been stuffed and added to your bowl, drizzle with melted coconut oil and sprinkle with Garam Masala. Toss gently.
4) Roast for about 10 minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet until dates are crisped slightly at the edges and cheese is warm and melted.
5) Cool ever so slightly, then serve.
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