Fruit concentrates: Instant flavor boost

Dark fig and date richness with a hint of orange

Fruit concentrates add a rich flavor boost to smoothies and other drinks and they can also easily be diluted for use in sauces or desserts. Preparing them in a blender also cuts out most of the time required for gradually cooking down items on a stove and ensures the nutrition of the raw ingredients is retained. The recipe below is for a fig and date concentrate (very good) but there are a huge number of possible combinations. Feel free to experiment.

Preparation
1. Roughly chop the dates and figs and then place all items in the container to be used for blending. The final mix will be quite thick, so it is easiest to use the container for the mill attachment. Magic Bullet type blenders are also ideal for this.

2. Cover the ingredients with water and leave them
to soak for 20 to 30 minutes. The items will expand as
they absorb the water so leave some extra space in
the container.

Ingredients

• Dark figs
• Dried dates
• Dark sultanas
• Orange peel
• Little water

Use equal amounts
of the main items and
orange peel to taste.

3. Make sure there is enough water to allow easy blending without over-dilution and then attach the container to the blender. Pulse the blender a few times to break down the ingredients and then whizz them into a smooth paste.

4. Transfer the final concentrate into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It should keep for around two weeks under normal conditions.

Notes
If you don’t have a mill attachment, you can still use your normal container but aim for a more sauce-like consistency. The blades for most standard containers are set too high to blend thick concentrates and it is difficult to remove the final mix. Also don’t try to pack in too many ingredients thinking it will improve the flavor. The mix needs to be able to move freely for smooth blending. If you have problems, remove some of the ingredients and add a little extra water.

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