Dates are very delicious and sweet fruits on the inside and the outside. They’re like chocolate and caramel snacks that are very hard to resist! In the Middle East, dates are considered the “tree of life” and is the national symbol of Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Not only that dates are very rich in history, but also in nutrients. A cup contains about 400 calories, but you can get about 27% of the daily requirement of potassium and 48% of your daily fiber needs. Studies also show that very, very few people are allergic to this fruit. Which means, chances are, you can eat this.
Dates are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and copper. The insoluble and soluble fiber that can be found in dates can have the effect of gastrointestinal cleansing, plus boosting your heart health, and making sure that your bowel and blood movements flow smoothly. This fruit also has anti-inflammatory benefits because of its magnesium content. It can even lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.
The benefits don’t stop there. Studies show that dates also help with weight loss, respiratory health, iron-deficiencies, brain performance, arthritis, and even pregnancy deliveries. Amazing, right?
Here’s a quick break down of the nutrients you can get from dates (3.5 ounces / 100 grams):
- Calories: 277
- Carbs: 75 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Potassium: 20% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
- Manganese: 15% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
- Also rich in anti-oxidants.
Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar that is mostly found in fruits. Since dates have a chocolatey caramel-like taste, they make great substitutes for white sugar. Not only that, but you can also reap the benefits of consuming the nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants of this healthy fruit.
All you have to do is make a date paste by mixing dates in water and using a blender. Replace sugar with a 1:1 ratio with date paste. However, since dates are high in fiber, nutrients and high in calories, it needs to be consumed in moderation.
Stuffed Dates Ideas
- Walnut & Coconut Stuffed Dates – All you have to do is stuff the date with a walnut piece and unsweetened coconut flakes, or roll it in sweetened coconut flakes.
- Pine Nut & Olives Tapenade – Add the garlic, shallot, parsley, and nutritional yeast to a blender or food processor. Pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the kalamata olives, and pulse just until the olives are broken up into small pieces – you don’t want to puree them. Stir the toasted pine nuts into the olive tapenade. Open each Medjool date and scoop in enough of the tapenade mixture to fill it completely.
- Pretzel Nugget – Stuff the date with a pretzel nugget and dip the bottom and sides in chocolate.
- Walnut, Pistachios & Cardamom – Stuff the date with a walnut piece and pack a small pinch of cardamom, finely chopped pistachios, and (optional) edible dried rose petals into the rest of the space.
- Peanut Butter & Sea Salt – Stuff the date with smooth peanut butter, top with an almond and some crunchy sea salt, and dip the bottom in chocolate.
Dates are very versatile and delicious snacks. You can pair them with almost anything, especially nuts and other ingredients. If you love baking, you can use dates as a binder for baked goods too. Add them in cookies and bar recipes. It’s so versatile that you can use it as a sweetener for sauces, salad dressings, and even marinades. It doesn’t stop there either, because you can add them in smoothies and oatmeal.
But just like what I always remind all of you, eat everything in moderation.