Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lemon Coconut Buttercream-Stuffed Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates stuffed with raw, vegan Lemon Coconut Buttercream.
As I write this post with Summer Solstice just a week away, the pretty violets photographed above have given way to buttercups and roses... Still, it's not too late to share a spring-born recipe.

I invented these Lemon Coconut Buttercream-Stuffed Medjool Dates last month as part of my ongoing quest to deliver delicious, digestible, low-sugar sweets to my mouth and yours. Raw, vegan, gluten-free and out of this world scrumptious, this recipe can be made either SCD/GAPS-friendly with raw honey, or low FODMAPS-friendly with maple syrup to sweeten. (I don't know how it would be with detox-friendly stevia, but if I ever dare try it, I'll make a note in the comments below. And please let me know if you do!)

My Lemon Coconut Buttercream is made with raw coconut butter, a naturally sweet, nutrient dense nut butter produced by grinding whole, mature coconut into a smooth paste. Don't confuse coconut butter with coconut oil. Coconut butter is to coconut oil as peanut butter is to peanut oil—totally different!

My number one favorite brand of coconut butter is Sacred Foods. Their low-temperature, super slow stone grinding method creates the silkiest and best-tasting coconut butter I've ever tried, by far. Sacred Coconut Butter is a gourmet product with a premium price ($21.95 for a 16 oz jar) but I highly recommend it if you can manage. Amazing just on the spoon, and in recipes like this one.

Lemon Coconut Buttercream

1 c coconut butter
1 Tbs coconut oil
3-4 Tbs maple syrup or raw honey
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Make sure coconut butter and oil are at room temperature to begin. Add all ingredients to a food processer fitted with the S-blade and process until smooth, using the pulse function. Add more lemon juice or sweetener to taste.

In an 8X8 Pyrex dish, press buttercream into a half-inch thick "loaf". (The loaf will not fill the entire area of dish! But pyrex is a good, non-reactive holder.) Chill for about one hour to firm up, for easy handling.

Stuffed Medjool Dates

1 batch of Lemon Coconut Buttercream
12 or more plump, soft Medjool dates

To stuff dates, gently remove and discard pits. Slice off a rectangular portion of buttercream, about the size of the date middle, and nestle it into the center of the pitted date. Press and shape to fit as needed (buttercream will soften in your fingers and become very easy to mold). Proceed until you have as many stuffed dates as you want. This recipe will stuff at least two dozen dates at a time, but unless you're feeding a crowd, it's nice to work in smaller batches, and the buttercream keeps very nicely in the fridge for several days (although it's hard to keep it around that long ;-).


cv said...

Low sugar? At 16 grams of sugar per date?

diana allen, ms, cns said...

CV, good point about dates, but I take neither credit nor blame for their high sugar, fiber or mineral content (all of which combine to make them one of the most slowly absorbed and healthy natural sweets going). Medjool dates were part of someone else's creative mission! My contribution to the low-sugar treat effort here is the Lemon Coconut Buttercream.

If dates are too sweet for you, perhaps try the buttercream alone as a kind of vegan cream cheese bar, or else use it to stuff something else. (Pecan halves, for instance. That would be delicious!)

cv said...

Good plan. I'm on it.