How to Make Date Paste

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Many of our desserts and baking recipes rely heavily on date paste as a replacement for sugar. Because date paste includes the same nutrients you find in dates, it brings more nutrition to a dish than refined sugars. Date paste, however, is not easily available in most major grocery stores, which might leave you scratching your head. Never fear! Date paste is just date puree, and it’s easy to make. Here are some tips for getting good results.

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Say Hello to My Lentil Friends

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Growing up in rural Maine, I always though that lentil was just another moniker for split peas, those little lovelies that cook into a scrumptiously heavy winter soup. Not so! I still don’t know exactly what to make of the botanical difference between dried field peas (split peas) and pulses (lentils), but I can give you a quick breakdown on what’s generally out there and what to do with it.

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Power Shopping for Dudes

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When I was invited to write a post for Guiding Stars, the conversation went something like this:

“So, you should write a blog post about power shopping!”
“Uh… I presume I’d have to know what it WAS in order to write a blog post about it, yes?”
“Well, it’s what you do! For your breakfast and lunch sandwiches! You power shop!”
“I thought power shopping involved fist-fulls of coupons and deep thought about nutritional information and whatnot. I just grab a bunch of stuff and cook two weeks at a time.”
“Well, that’s power shopping TOO!”

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All-Star Summer Sausage Subs

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My wife and I are always on the lookout for healthy alternatives to foods we like. In looking for alternatives to the traditional Italian pork sausage, we switched to turkey sausage. Even though it is a much healthier alternative to the Italian pork sausage, it still contains too much sugar and sodium to be really healthy. We also tried some of the chicken sausage that was available at the time. Again, it was better than the Italian pork sausage, but still had too much sodium to really be considered healthy.

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When You Produce From Scratch, You Know What’s in the Product

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The idea is simple. While many food service companies regularly purchase just about everything to avoid paying for skilled labor, we try to make as much as possible from scratch. (How skilled we are is certainly up for discussion!)

Just like kids, adults just need to eat well, whether they like it or not. To get them to do that we employ a term called “stealth health”. Without revealing all my secrets, I can say that there is a fluidity in the recipes we use. 2 tablespoons of salt become 1, three cups of sugar becomes 1 cup plus some organic honey. Milk chocolate becomes dark chocolate, 4 oz. chicken thighs become trimmed breast, and ground beef becomes ground white meat turkey. Whole eggs becomes half egg /half egg white. There is always an opportunity to improvise and make food more nutritious. If we can’t stop you from mac and cheese, we can use whole-wheat pasta, skim milk, and fresh vegetables. We want to sneak in some nutrition to foods that are basically empty calories because we know they will be purchased, then so be it, we do.

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