First Dates

No, I don’t mean the ones you go on or the dates on your calendar. I’m talking about those brownish looking things that are a fruit of the Date Palm. They can be mistaken as prunes, since they’re both wrinkly looking fruits. Prunes are not of the palm family, but rather the plum family. Dates are a staple fruit for the people in the Middle East. It’s believed that dates have been cultivated since around 4000-6000 BCE. Although dates can be eaten fresh, it’s more commonly eaten as a dried fruit. Dates can provide many health benefits. They help relieve constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, and many other conditions. Dates are considered to be a “superfood” because they’re high in anti-oxidants which are natural fighters to diseases. Dates are free of trans fat and saturated fats. 

Benefits of Eating Dates

1. Healthy Stomach

Dates is considered a laxative food. It has high levels of fiber which is essential in promoting a healthy bowel movement. Soak dates overnight in water to achieve laxative effects. If you have diarrhea, dates can help control that. Since they are easy to digest, it helps with unpredictable bouts of chronic diarrhea.

2. Natural Booster

Dates is high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. These little delicious fruits are a perfect snack to give a boost of energy.

3. Iron Happy

Dates has a high mineral content of iron. This makes it a perfect dietary supplement for people who suffer from anemia It helps increase strength and energy, while decreasing the fatigue you may feel.

4. Anti-Inflammatory

Dates are rich in magnesium, a mineral which is known of it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. Magnesium can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and other known inflammation related illneesses.

5.  Weight Loss

Dates can help you with your weight loss. Since it is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It can help make your belly feel full and provide you with extra energy.

6. Banana Replacement

1 date has about 167mg. If you ate 3 dates, you would get more potassium then a medium sized banana which has 422mg. Try the Medjool dates. They’re one of the well-known dates out there. 

Aside from just eating the dates as a snack. You can add dates into many other food recipes. I’ve seen them used in many savory and sweet recipes. There was a recipe I saw where a chef stuffed dates with almond butter. You can add them to a no-bake bar square as well. I also remember dates being used in a bread recipe. For a savory dish, you can try wrapping it in with vegan bacon and vegan cheese and putting it on the grill or in the oven. Surprisingly, there’s a ton of recipes available for you to try using dates with.

Dates have a long shelf life. For fresh dates, you can freeze them for up to a year. It can be stored in the fridge for up to six months, or two months in the pantry. Dried dates can be refrigerated for a year and frozen for up to 5 years. When dates sit for a while in your pantry, sugar will naturally crystallize. There’s nothing wrong with the fruit, it just means they have harden and dried out.

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