Dates are an essential ingredient in my kitchen! Dates feature in many, if not most of my sweet recipes – I love them for lots of reasons – I love the taste, the texture, the convenience, the health benefits. I pretty much always have dates in my house – usually kept in the freezer, but more about that later. If I see them on sale I’ll buy a 5kg box and keep them in the space fridge.
In terms of ‘reviewing’ the humble date I’ve done a bit of research, and there is plenty out there if you want to read more. I’ll add a few links here too, but below I’ll cover the pros, cons and give you some recipe/eating tips.
When I say ‘dates’, the ones I am usually referring to are the fresh dates, the variety I use the most are Medjool dates and they are found in the refrigerated section of your supermarket or fruit & veggie shop. They are not the dried pitted ones you find in the baking aisle.
Dates: the pros
- They are a convenient snack or after dinner sweet treat
- They are good for you. They are high in vitamins, dietary fibre, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper and magnesium.
- Some of the health benefits include:
- anti-inflammatory – from the magnesium
- easily digested and good for the digestive system, including for constipation
- good for blood pressure and the heart
- great to boost energy
Dates: the cons
- Dates are high in sugar and fructose – so some people who are sensitive to fructose might not be able to tolerate them well.
- High in GI
- They are reasonably expensive
- They can be addictive, although hard to eat tooooo many in one sitting as they are quite sweet.
How to use them
Here are some of the many ways that I like to eat/use/cook with dates. As I said I’ll be posting this week more recipes and ideas.
- Just eat them fresh!
- Freeze them and eat them straight from the freezer as a hard ‘caramel’ – they take a little longer to eat frozen!
- Cut them in half, remove the seed, fill with peanut butter or other nut butter
- Pull the seed out and stuff and almond in the hole for a sweet crunch
- Pull the seed out and squirt in some delicious pumpkin seed oil
- To be a bit naughty fill the hole with a piece of chocolate
- Make a date paste – dip apple segments in it. (blitz dates alone or with a little coconut cream in a blend/thermomix/food processor)
- Eat dates with celery & cucumber – that’s tip from Anthony William.
- Blend with water or even coconut milk to make a caramel sauce
- Use in bliss balls, slices, cakes etc
Here are a few articles I found helpful in looking into dates!
jereviews.com – some great recipes ideas in this post too.