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Carob Date Loaf

1 cup pitted dates, cut up
1-1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup carob powder
3 T. safflower shortening
3/4 cup, plus 1 T., boiling water
1 t. orange blossom water or vanilla extract
3/4 cup honey (warmed to pouring consistency)
1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour

Place the dates, baking soda, salt, and carob powder in a mixing bowl. Toss lightly with a fork. Add the shortening and boiling water, but do not stir. Let stand 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine the eggs and orange blossom water or vanilla. Add the honey and flour, stirring until well blended. Add the date mixture, stirring just to blend. Pour into a well-greased 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool before removing from pan. Serve plain or top each slice with plain yogurt sweetened with a little honey.

Replace carob powder with 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. Decrease the amount of boiling water by 1 tablespoon and replace honey with 1 cup sugar.

Yeild: 1 loaf or 16 slices.

From "The Global Kitchen" by Karen Gail Brooks and Gideon Bosker, M.D.

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