DATES

Dates are sweet and delicious. They have a wonderful texture and almost creamy mouthfeel.

DatesI love them because although they are sweet, they aren’t over the top like many sugary foods. Dates are an amazing staple ingredient in a variety of global cuisines like Middle Eastern and also in the raw foodie world. I use dates as a sweetener and also a binding ingredient for sweet treats and other culinary experiments. For example, soaked dates and nuts blended together make an awesome quick and easy ‘pie crust’ that doesn’t need to be baked or messed with, simply blend until crumbly, press them into the pan and pour your ingredients over the top.

Dates grow on trees and are part of the drupe family, or stone fruit, much like the mango, olive and/or avocado. The date is mentioned in many religions as a divine food and I agree they are indeed divine. They are a great source of energy and vitality. 

From a health perspective, dates are awesome, even though they are higher in sugar content. They are jam packed with nutrients like potassium and manganese, copper, and antioxidants like lutein. They are a good source for vitamin A, B, and K, as well as a great source of fiber.  Dates also contain tannins, which make them anti-inflammatory.

Research shows that dates can help regulate heart rate and other cardiovascular irregularities. They are a great source of iron so they increase the body’s ability to transport iron and increase the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells.  The potassium in dates is also considered an aphrodisiac and research suggests that dates can help with a variety of sexual and reproductive issues in both men and women.

Dates tend to be my main source of sugar if I happen to include something sweet in my diet. I soak them and make date syrup out of them which is a main ingredient in many Middle Eastern recipes; and I also add them to various recipes as a sugar replacement, not to mention just nibbling on them whole when I need a little boost of energy or focus