Knowledge Base > Char Nolan - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Char Nolan - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Char Nolan in her virtual office as she welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to ask anything – from cooking techniques to cou… Read More.



I'm wondering if you sometimes swap other dried fruit pastes- Ie: prune, apricot, raisin, for example for date paste in your recipes.?

— Fran Costigan


I have two that I really like to use. One of them is I enjoy an unsweetened, uh, mango, uh, that's dried. And what I do with it is I will cut them into smaller pieces and then proceed the same way that you would if you were making an any other kind of fruit paste and letting it soak in water. Uh, these are delicious. They have a little tartness to them. So if you're making a salad dressing, uh, the tartness is good. And then there's also the color effect of using the beautifully, um, yellow mangoes. And then the other thing is, I like to use these cranberries. They are have 50% less sugar in them. So the interesting thing about, um, uh, dried fruit, a lot of it, especially cranberries, is that they are coated with an oil and then they have, uh, sugar added to them. And sometimes the sugar is not a vegan sugar. So I, I'm often skeptical of cranberries. However, um, if you go to a place like Whole Foods, they do have unsweetened cranberries. They are beyond tart, but they do kind of give you that tartness that you might be looking for. But they're very, very tart. I like these 50% less sugar, um, still has a little bit of oil in it, but there's zero grams of total fat in the recipe. So that should be, uh, something helpful. So, um, Fran, I know that you and I also are both big fans of the dried plum, however, we prefer calling it the prune and prunes also make a wonderful, wonderful, um, fruit paste for a dressing or, uh, a baked item or whichever. So I think that that is, um, a good thing.
Char Nolan

Char Nolan

Chef Instructor