Dates. Those sweet, tender morsels you can eat as dessert. I can eat so many of them, and they are like candy. Dates have been eaten for thousands of years in the Middle East and the Indus Valley. The flowering tree from which dates come from is called the date palm, and it is in the palm family. Dates are cultivated traditionally in Iraq, Arabia, north Africa and Morocco. However, dates are also grown in southern California, Arizona, southern Florida in U.S.A., as well as in Sonora and Baja in Mexico. The medjool and deglet noor dates from our grocery stores often come from the United States.
Delicious Things to Do with Dates
You can obviously eat them one at a time. But there are lots of things you can do with these fruits as well. Here are some examples.
For a nutritious energy booster, try this recipe!
2 cups pitted dates
1 tablespoon of dark cocoa powder
2 cups water (500mL)
Soak the dates in the water for about an hour. Then, throw this mixture along with the bananas, dark cocoa powder into a blender and blend well.
You can use this paste as a natural sweetener. It can last up to three months in the refrigerator.
You will need:
2 cups of pitted dates
3/4 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Soak the dates overnight in the water. Put the mixture into a food processor, along with the salt. Mix for about 8 minutes, or until the mixture reaches a nicely smooth consistency. Store in a mason jar or an airtight container.
Date and Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10 dates)
1/2 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
Pinch of salt
Put the dates into the food processor, and process until a paste is formed. Throw in the roasted peanuts and pinch of salt. Process until smooth.
Take the mixture and shape it into balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Simple Date Smoothie
Put into blender:
1 cup of unsweetened nut milk of your choice
1 large frozen banana
4 pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend until smooth. This is great for breakfast or a quick booster.
Peanut Butter and Date Smoothie
6 deglet noor or medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup of preferred non-dairy milk
Blend until smooth. Great for breakfast or as a post-workout drink.
Dates can also be used to naturally sweeten baked goods, such as cookies, bars, and banana bread.