Sticky Chocolate Date Loaf–#WeCare

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I’ve never kept track of all the hurricanes and storms I’ve been through in Florida. I’d like to consider myself an expert with all the storm tracking and terminology. I know exactly what supplies to buy and we have a plan for when it’s our time to evacuate.


These are things you have to be ready for living in this part of the East coast. My mother-in-law always calls from Italy as soon as she sees a hurricane in America. It could even be on the completely opposite coast and she’ll call to check and make sure we are all safe.

When Hurricane Sandy passed our way a few weeks ago, we were prepared. The kids were off of school for a day and half. Our beaches suffered damage and luckily this time we were left mostly unscathed. The winds were still kicking here as it made it’s way up towards the North East. It was predicted to be bad and I have to say, I’ve never seen damage here as I’ve seen what happened up north from Sandy.
People need our help immediately. A day after the storm, I posted photos from our recent trip to NYC and some wonderful links to help those in need. As the days passed, I saw on TV and online the tragic images of destruction. Some families had flooding damage and some families sadly lost all they had. My heart felt heavy with sadness as I wished I were closer to help those in need. Other blogging friends also felt compelled to try to find a way to spread the message of giving something to those in need from Sandy.

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Today we are spreading the message online to reach out in any way you can. The badge links directly to the The Red Cross so you can make your donation. Donating to The Red Cross has an immediate impact on the victims. I encourage you to donate there or consider another way from my post last week. Encourage others to help out as well. 
Some other ways to help:
Throughout the whole month of November, Macy’s is accepting donations at all store registers. They will match every dollar with a dollar an effort to exceed one million dollars.
My daughter brought home a flyer from school today asking families to donate winter clothes. Her school will be sending them to an elementary/middle school in Belmar, New Jersey. The school is still being used as a Red Cross shelter for displaced families. The students are expected to finally return to school on November 12th. You can encourage your school to donate winter clothes to a school with children in need affected by Sandy.
I am keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers and appreciate everyone that wants to help those in need.

Today I wanted to share a recipe that brings comfort to my family. It’s a sticky date loaf filled with wonderful spice and rich chocolate. I make it almost every week and sometimes make them as a muffin.fe37ce22130f11e2bf2722000a1fbc66_7
I am keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers and appreciate everyone that wants to help those in need. 
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A little about the sticky chocolate date loaf: Dates are naturally sweet and I cut much of the sugar that was in the original recipe. I adapted the recipe from this site. I also made this recipe vegan. It’s so moist from the banana and dates, the eggs are not missed at all. A little whole wheat flour also makes the cake a bit more healthy. You could make the cake entirely with whole wheat or with white flour…however you prefer. Just make it and share a slice with a hot cup of tea and someone you love.

Sticky Chocolate Date Loaf
 
30 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (to stir in the batter right before baking)

Directions:
Preheat oven at 350 F and line a loaf pan with parchment or non stick baking paper. (or you can make them
in muffin tins)

In a small pan, combine dates and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 3 minutes or until dates are soft and liquid has reduced. Lower the heat and stir in baking soda. Stir well once the mixture foams up; set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another large mixing bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, molasses, banana, and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate.

Gently fold in half the flour mixture then fold in all the date mixture. Gently fold in the remaining flour and the rest of the chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to tin and tilt tin gently from side to side to level batter. Bake for 1 hour or until a fine skewer comes out almost clean from centre of loaf and loaf begins to pull away from the sides of tin.
Remove from oven and turn loaf out onto a cooling rack. Enjoy!

xo
Lora

Spread the word on how to help through The American Red Cross with this badge:
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