Medjool dates are a FRESH FRUIT. When plump, sweet dates are a little past their prime and start to get dry, it's easy to remoisten them, bringing them back to their juicy goodness. After they’ve soaked, scoop out at least 1/4 cup of the soaking water and then drain the dates. If you have a large quantity or would like to keep the dates for an extended period of time, freezing is the way to go. Dates can be eaten out of hand or used as a topping for sweet and savory dishes, and they can also be incorporated into salads and pureed into sauces. Medjool dates are actually harvested from the date palm, cleaned, sorted and packaged right away. Cover and allow them to sit for 10-20 minutes. Place the dates in a saucepan and cover with water. They are firmer and drier than Medjools with a slightly nutty flavor. If they do not smell good or show signs of decay, the dates have expired. Wet a paper towel under running water briefly so that it is damp, but not completely soaking. The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Fresh dates have a high sugar content, which intensifies as the fruit is dried; thus, fresh dates differ in both taste and texture from the sugared, desiccated, chopped ones sold in boxes in the baking aisle of the grocery store. To Substitute Date Paste for Maple Syrup: Use double the amount of date paste when subbing for maple syrup. Also, you might find it hard to believe, how easy it is to make this Date Filling. Chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and mineral extractability of Sudanese date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits, Dietary intakes and biomarker patterns of folate, vitamin B, and vitamin B can be associated with cognitive impairment by hypermethylation of redox-related genes NUDT15 and TXNRD1, Easy ways to boost fiber in your daily diet. Very Nutritious. Alternatively, place the dates in a resealable plastic bag. Avoid dates that have crystallized sugar on their skins (a little whiteness is okay, but not actual crystals), since that means they are not quite as fresh as you might like. 5) Wrap pitted dates in bacon and serve them as a tasty appetizer. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, Julia Hoersch/Picture Press / Getty Images, Why Dates Are Traditionally Eaten When Breaking Ramadan Fast, The Ramadan Tradition of Breaking a Fast With Dates, Essential Ingredients in Moroccan Cooking, 6 Moroccan Chicken Dishes for Special Occasions and Company Dinners. Place your dates in an airtight container. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Medjool dates range from brown to black in color and are large in size. Set your taste-buds reeling with delight with this enticingly delicious Date Filling. Dates come in many varieties, but only a few are available in the United States. Dry roast sesame seeds on a low to medium heat until they turn aromatic So, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of maple syrup, I’d recommend using 1 cup of date paste. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. Of course, dessert recipes abound utilizing the date's natural sweetness. Share on Pinterest. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter and 3/4 cup white sugar until light and fluffy. Dates are among the sweetest fruits in the world. 2) Stuff dates with nuts or cheese and enjoy them as an afternoon snack. Boil water in a saucepan and add the chopped dates to it and let it cook for 5 minutes. Just … They may record accomplishments that make us proud – a first marathon, or first article published. As always, all opinions are my own. However, their taste will diminish over time, so for optimal flavor, it is best to eat the dates within a week. What can be done to make them soft again? There are endless varieties of dates grown in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. The harvest then takes place between September and March, making this a fall and winter fruit. For longer storage, or to maintain their freshness, store the dates in the refrigerator packed in a glass or plastic container or zip-top bag. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to drizzle water over the dates if you don't have a spray bottle. They will still be quite soft but have a bit more of a toothsome quality to them. Fresh dates can be wrinkled, but they shouldn't feel hard. (Many thanks to Sunsweet for sponsoring this post! An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. If you can’t find tart kumquats or prefer a fruit that’s a bit … Want to give your dates even more flavor? If you are looking for an alternative to sugar, you can actually turn the dates into a "sugar" by simply roasting and then pulverizing them. Wait a few minutes for the dates to absorb the water, then spray a little more, as needed until they reach the moisture levels you desire. Food Sci Nutr. Farmers' markets in Southern California and Arizona may have fresh dates when they're in season. Soft dates – Part 1. In the U.S., however, the most commonly available dates are Medjool and Deglet Noor. Most people think of dates as a dried fruit because they’re thinking of the dates you buy in the baking aisle. Most dates are allowed to hang on the trees to "cure" and dry a bit before being harvested so they will last longer once picked. Since they’re dried, their … Dates can be softened by steaming them for about 10 minutes over boiling water or placing them on a baking sheet covered with a wet towel then keeping them warm in the oven for 15 minutes. When you bring Medjool dates home from the store they're soft, pliable and easy to process. Steam the dates for about 3 to 5 minutes, covered, until they have sufficiently remoistened to your liking and any sugar crystals on the surface have dissolved. Dates will last up to one month when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Or, of course, dates play a big role in baked goods, adding sweetness and texture to cakes, breads, and cookies. Dietary intakes and biomarker patterns of folate, vitamin B, and vitamin B can be associated with cognitive impairment by hypermethylation of redox-related genes NUDT15 and TXNRD1. Superfoods are the fashion, and dates are certainly worthy of a place at the table, a … Look for fresh dates that are plump and have a slight glossiness to their skin. Step 2: Making your Date Paste with your Mortar & Pestle If you are lucky enough to find the Barhi date (it is too fragile to ship), it is best to eat these round dates out of hand as they are the sweetest and softest. They have a moist texture and a sweet taste. The fresh dates are available soft, semi-soft or dry. Dried dates are sold year-round in boxes or packages and often found in the baking aisle. Because the sugar becomes more concentrated as the fruit dries, dried dates are much sweeter than fresh, and have a tougher, chewier texture. Repeat with the rest of your dates. The sugar will melt back into the dates. Since palm trees grow best in the desert, the U.S. crop of dates is grown in the deserts of California and Arizona. When it comes to dates, we may initially think of baked goods, but an interesting hors d'oeuvre, such as devils on horseback (dates stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon) and Moroccan specialties like a chicken tagine with dates and honey are also wonderful ways to enjoy this fruit. Wipe each dry date all over with the damp paper towel, removing the sugar crystals that have formed as they dried out. Remove the dates from the saucepan and with the tip of a knife or a vegetable corer, dislodge the seed from the dates and any strings from the inside of the fruit. This video shows you how to make delicious date cake. 2014;2(5):478-89.  doi:10.1002/fsn3.123, An Y, Feng L, Zhang X, et al. Dates can help balance blood sugar levels because they have a low glycemic impact. This fruit also contains different types of antioxidants, which help protect the body's cells, depending on the variety and whether they are fresh or dried. They are high in magnesium, which may help reduce blood pressure, and contain a B vitamin that may help boost memory and learning.. Include vanilla pudding in the dough. The vanilla pudding mix will add moisture to the cookies, so they stay soft and last longer. Dates are sweet and rich with a chewy, sticky texture. )Continue Reading The University of Sydney Glycemic Index. Simple methods of adding moisture back into the dates will get rid of the crystallization and make the dates look and taste as good as new. Deglet Noor dates: “Date of Light” are amber colored and have a distinct delicate flavor. Bring the water to boil. If you've never had a freshly harvested date, they are worth seeking out for their insanely sweet, caramel-like taste and—this is where they differ most from dried dates—their soft, downright luscious texture. If you’re using the smaller deglet noor dates, you’ll need to use more! Kumquat Tarts with Almond-Date Crust. Updated December 19, 2019. Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. You may be surprised to find a wide range of recipes featuring dates, both fresh and dried. Add the mix when you're pouring in the dry ingredients and combine the dough as directed in your recipe. Dates are also high in fiber (1/4 cup of dates provides over ten percent of the daily requirement), which aids in relieving constipation and managing weight as it makes you feel fuller longer. Dates are also an excellent replacement or addition in baked goods to cut down on refined sugars. Open up the pitted dates, and fill them with a cream cheese of your choice. A Web Experience brought to you by LEAFtv, Eat Drink Be Merry Magazine: Royal Medjool Dates. Note: Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave. Fill a small spray bottle with water. They will still be quite soft but have a bit more of a toothsome quality to them. That said, there are many other ways to enjoy them, from savory appetizers to sweet desserts. Although dates are super sweet it doesn't mean that they're bad for you—on the contrary. I have some chopped dates, coated in oat flour that are slightly hard. A dry date simply contains less moisture than a soft date. Beat in … Most dates are allowed to hang on the trees to "cure" and dry a bit before being harvested so they will last longer once picked. Fill a small pot with a few inches of water and fit a steamer basket or adjustable colander inside the pot. Cover the pot. Spray the dates lightly with the spray bottle of water on all sides. The … They are not as sweet or moist as Medjool dates but have a softer caramel-like taste. Step 2 Cut a slit into each You can also blend them into a smoothie—they just need to be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to reconstitute first. So don't miss it! They may mark a romantic meeting, or some other sweet occasion in life. These chewy, sweet fruits are available in several varieties and are sold both fresh and dried. Read our, The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Easy ways to boost fiber in your daily diet. Before any type of preparation, though, you first need to remove the pits. Open 1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix and add the dry mix to your cookie dough. Medjool dates are one of the most popular, known for their large size, soft texture and rich flavor. Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. 2019;11(1):139.  doi:10.1186/s13148-019-0741-y. Fresh dates are delicious eaten just as they are, with a cup of coffee or mug of tea alongside to cut the sweetness. You can also serve them pitted and stuffed with blue cheese as a simple appetizer, or as part of a tagine, the Moroccan slow-cooked stew. Place just the amount of dates you plan to use in a bowl, then cover with boiling water to fully submerge the fruit. Place Medjool dates in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot water over them. Oatmeal Date Cookies that are chewy and soft in the center but crispy on the edges! In a mixing bowl of a stand-in mixer, cream the butter, … Step 1 Mix cream cheese and Gorgonzola cheese together in a bowl. Follow this easy process to make your own jar: Soak dates in hot water to soften them. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College. The word "date" comes from the Greek word daktulos, which means "fingers," possibly named as such for the fruit's shape. 3 65 Super Easy Finger Foods to Make for Any Party From chips and dip to one-bite apps, finger foods are the perfect way to kick off a party. Portion them out into small containers before freezing—they will thaw beautifully and retain their sweetness. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. Recipe works best fresh, soft medjool dates. No forks or spoons required, just easy-to-pick-up party foods, so you can clean up in no time.Read More Pack the dates as tightly as you want to in the container. Set aside for 15 minutes and grind the mixture to a fine paste. 4) Use dates in place of raisins for oatmeal-date cookies. Dates. Press a walnut half into the cheese filled dates. Wait a few minutes for the dates to absorb the water, then spray a little more, as needed until they reach the moisture levels you desire. Chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and mineral extractability of Sudanese date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits. Fresh dates can be sliced in half and placed on top of toast that has been spread with honeyed ricotta cheese, or the fruit can be chopped up and sprinkled over ice cream. 3) Blend dates with yogurt and frozen fruits for a healthy smoothie. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find fresh dates prepackaged or in bulk at your local supermarket. These really are the perfect oatmeal cookie filled with chewy dates and crunchy pecans. Add baking soda, mix well and switch off the heat. Let the dates soak for about 10 minutes, then and then strain the fruit and discard the water. The fruit will be more plump, juicy, and soft. Certain varieties, such as Medjool, are more expensive than others because their harvest is more labor intensive. Glass or plastic tupperware works well. Soak the dates in “just boiled” water for 1-2 hours. There’s no need to dry them completely. Fresh dates are plump and dark brown with a glossy sheen. This is something you can play around with to get the caramel sauce thickness you’re looking for. Mohamed RM, Fageer AS, Eltayeb MM, Mohamed ahmed IA. Cool a bit. You can spray your dates with other liquids such as milk, fruit juice and wine as you are moistening them to enhance the flavor of the dates before consuming. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. Fresh dates, if kept in an airtight container, stay fresh for up to 8 months if kept refrigerated, or for up to year in the freezer. If dates are dry or hard, you can soak them in water for about 30 minutes, drain and then use them in the recipe. Dates that are starting to dry out will form sugar crystals on the surface as the moisture is escaping. Soft dates may be those we recall not because they fall into the traditional category of dates to remember – but because they hold special meaning. Wring it out well. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Add the dates to the steamer basket or colander once it starts to boil and sprinkle lightly with water. Super-ize Them. I love this recipe, I hope you like it too. Soak your Medjool Dates in Warm Water until your Dates are tender/soft Remove your Dates from the soaking water Remove the seeds by Hand – make sure to get all of them! Wrap the dates up in the paper towel and let them sit for a few minutes wrapped up to infused them with a little more moisture. Because they are drier and smaller than other dates they make for a great snack or as a sweet addition to bread or a meal. Clin Epigenetics. Depending on where you live, you may also come across names such as Barhi, Dayri, Halawy, Khadrawy, Thoory, and Zahidi. They grow on large trees known as date palms and are native to the Middle East where they have been enjoyed for thousands of years. Simply slice the date lengthwise and the pit will easily pop out. The dry fresh date is not the same as the dried date. Simmer gently until they are soft when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes or more. Native to the Middle East, dates are fruits of the date palm tree and look somewhat like giant raisins, but have a much sweeter taste and smoother texture. Deglet Noor dates have amber-colored skin and a more elongated shape. Dried dates can also be eaten as is as a snack, or you can chop and toss into salads or sprinkle on top of hot oatmeal. Thank You! As they sit, the dates will continue to dry out and their sugars will slowly come to the surface, creating white spots that are sugar, not mold.