Spiced Dates and Ghee
Treat yourself to the ultimate Ayurvedic comfort food: Spiced Dates and Ghee! The chewy, gooey, and oh-so-good-for-your-tissues delight that you won’t be able to resist!
Ayurveda provides recommendations and insights for achieving balance between the body, mind, and life experiences through the 20 Qualities of Nature. These are pairs of opposites reflecting the experience of Nature itself. Ultimately these qualities boil down to being either heavy or light on the system. In relation to food, an item is either heavy (anabolic, building, heavy to digest) or light (catabolic, reducing, easy to digest). In the Vedic texts, these categories are known as Bruhana (heavy or big) or Langhana (light or small).
After cleansing or Pancha Karma programs once digestion (agni) is stabilized it is often time to build the system back up with rasayanas or rejuvenation tonics. While this may include the use of herbs, there are foods that can be supportive to building healthy tissues. This maximizes the qualities we are looking for to support strength, longevity and wellbeing.
Spiced Dates and Ghee for Rejuvenation
Using the sticky, smooth, soft, oily and heavier qualities of sweet dates combined with gentle digestive herbs like cardamom and saffron, smothered in ghee, offers all the qualities we are looking for in rasayana and bruhana therapy. These are lighter than other recommendations, like Ojas Bliss Balls or our Rice Pudding.
Any heavier, sweeter food is recommended to eat on an empty stomach while hungry. Enjoy this in the morning for breakfast or in the afternoon as a sweet treat. Don’t get carried away eating too many! These are a therapeutic snack, so be sure to eat as such, limiting yourself to 2-3 dates per serving.
The combination of dates and ghee are cooling, soft and perfect for summer when the body feels squeezed, exhausted and in need of simple extra nutrients and substance.
Let’s Start by Making Ghee
If you haven’t made ghee yet at home, it’s delightful and easy. Check out our ghee recipe and start from there. If you are a budding kitchen enthusiast and this seems like a lot of work, you can purchase ghee at a farmer’s market or use store-bought as well. Our favorite online brand is 4th & Heart.
Now for the Dates
Our family probably needs to plant a date tree, but we have found a friend that has some in Puerto Rico! We LOVE dates and use them to cook, nibble, bake and sweeten things with their delightful flavor. This is something we can’t get enough of, and have found Joolies Ugglies to be our house favorite.
Let’s Talk Spices
If all you have are the dates and ghee, go for it! However if you want to add an extra special spice, you would want to make your own ghee and add the spices to the warm ghee allowing them to gently infuse into the mixture. We like to use a gently opened green cardamom pod, a dash of cardamom powder and/or a few threads of saffron. This adds a subtle layer that supports the digestive system and makes it extra delish!
Sweet, pungent, cooling, light and dry are the qualities of cardamom. They add an ease in digestibility to the heavier quality of the dates. This makes them a nice addition, especially if you are using Spiced Dates and Ghee therapeutically after cleansing programs to rebuild tissues. There is a delicate balance between eating foods that are heavy or too heavy, and with sweet treats it is easy to go overboard. The general rule of thumb is to eat food only as heavy as your digestive system can process. So, adding a lighter, more stimulating digestive spice to the mix can be both helpful and tasty.
More pungent and warming than cardamom, but used so delicately, saffron can add a layer to the mix that nourishes the tissues, most specifically the blood. This can support female organs, the skin and overall tonification of all tissue layers. If you notice that it adds too much heat, you can omit it. The heat of saffron supports digestive health and provides mild stimulation to agni when used in moderation.
Spiced Dates and Ghee Recipe
It’s super simple!
- Dried dates
- Optional: cardamom or saffron
- Take a clean glass jar and fill it with dried dates.
- Pour warm ghee over the dates to cover them.
- If you are making your own spiced ghee, pour it over the dates while still hot so it solidifies over the dates. If you are using store-bought ghee, place it in a warm area to soften to a liquid consistency and pour it over dates.
- If you want to add cardamom or saffron, mix the spices into the warm ghee before setting the dates.
- Store the jar at room temperature away from light or heat and let it solidify. This does not need to be refrigerated.
**Sometimes we like to add fresh vanilla bean to the mix. It’s absolutely amazing! If you have a freshly dried pod, slice it carefully with a knife and add the sticky inside of the bean to the ghee when warm. Gently stir to combine and pour it over the dates. It’s a must try.**