Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Sunsweet, but all opinions are our own.
Often times, dates are used in desserts, because of their natural sweetness and sticky texture.
But few realize dates also deserve a place at the savory table. And that’s the thing with dates- they’re incredibly flexible in the kitchen, and can be used in so many creative ways.
In this Date + Guava Butter Grilled Cheese sandwich, you can treat your tastebuds to a delightfully unexpected fusion of sweet and savory. How many of you have cooked with dates? These delightful dried fruits provide a natural sweetness while also being a good source of fiber, at 3 grams per serving. Many studies suggest that fiber plays an important role in digestion — and helps keep you (*ahem*) regular. Fiber also aids in making us feel full and satisfied, which can help to prevent overeating.
In addition to being a fiber powerhouse, dates are naturally free of fat and sodium. And they contain 280mg of potassium per serving, which is about 8% of your daily needs. When enjoying dates in recipes or even as a snack, keep in mind your portions, and always consider balancing dates with protein to help slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream. If enjoying as a snack, aim to pair 3 dates with a source of protein like nuts, cheese or Greek yogurt.
In addition to dates, we chose to highlight guava in this grilled cheese sandwich recipe. If you aren’t familiar with guava fruit, let us introduce you. Native to Mexico and Central/South America, guavas are members of the myrtle and eucalyptus family. They are traditionally grown in tropical climates on small trees with a smooth, copper-colored bark. Round or oval in shape, the guava fruit comes in a variety of colors (think pink, yellow and dark red). The fruit itself is sweet, and can be enjoyed as a snack or incorporated into a dish, like we did here. Guavas are a good source of important vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, copper and manganese.
The skins and seeds are edible, and the fruit is used to make pastries, desserts, spreads, and more! We’ll be complementing the flavors of guava with dates, to make a delicious butter for the grilled cheese. We’ll be leaving the seeds in this recipe for additional fiber (plus, it adds a nice, crunchy texture to the spread!)
Now for the recipe! Ready to get started? The first thing you want to do is get your ingredients in order. For the actual grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll need olive oil, a small red onion, balsamic vinegar, 2 slices of bread (preferably whole grain), and 1 slice of white cheddar cheese. For the yummy date spread, you’ll need 4 pitted Sunsweet dates, 4 small-medium sized guavas, ground cinnamon, and chia seeds.
Let’s start by making the spread. The first step is to soak the dates in water for about 1 hour so they are extra soft, and blend easily. Then you’ll want to slice each guava in half, and scoop out all of the gooey flesh and seeds from within. Transfer the guava flesh + seeds into a food processor. Then add the dates, cinnamon and chia seeds. Pulse that baby until you reach a smooth consistency. Add a bit of water, as needed, to get a smooth blend. Set aside.
To make the actual sandwich, heat the olive oil in a small pan, and add the sliced onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add in the balsamic vinegar. Top the pan with a lid and allow the onion to cook for another couple of minutes. Set aside. Top one slice of bread with the date-guava paste, 1 slice of cheese, and the cooked onions. Top with another slice of bread, and cook in a grill press for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese melts, and the bread has browned. For those of you who don’t have a grill press (we got you), you can also cook this on the skillet over low-medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side, or until cheese melts and the bread has browned.
Store the remaining spread in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week…enjoy with toast, yogurt, or oatmeal!
And there you have it. This sandwich is perfect for a savory brunch with friends and family. We recommend serving this with a side salad or cooked vegetables. An easy and delicious dish that is perfect for any time of day. What about you..have you tried dates in any savory dishes? Did you like? Drop us a line below and let us know how you like to use dates in the kitch.
Also! Make sure to tag us on instagram at @foodheavenshow and @SunsweetGrowersInc using the hashtag #SunsweetTraditions.
PS: Be on the lookout for other exciting recipes we’ll be doing with Sunsweet in the months to come!
Talk soon! xo
- 4 pitted dates, soaked in water for 1 hour
- 4 small-medium sized guavas
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 small red onion, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices of bread
- 1 slice of white cheddar cheese
- Slice each guava in half, and scoop out all of the flesh + seeds from within
- Add the flesh + seeds to a food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients for the spread
- Process until you reach a smooth consistency. Add a bit of water, as needed, to get a smooth blend.
- Heat the olive oil in a small pan, and add the onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then add the balsamic vinegar. Put the lid on, and allow to cook for another couple of minutes. Set aside
- Layer 1 slice of bread with the date guava paste, 1 slice of cheese, and the cooked onions
- Top with another slice of bread, and cook in a grill press for 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts, and the bread has browned
- If you don't have a press, you can also cook on the skillet over low-medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side, or until cheese melts and the bread has browned
- 1 serving of the date guava spread is the equivalent of 1 tablespoon
- Store the remaining spread in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week...enjoy with toast, yogurt, or oatmeal!