Try it Tuesday with DatesĀ 

6/2/2020 | Lauren Baker, RDN, LD

What are dates?

Dates are tropical fruits that are often eaten dried in the US. Dried dates contain a pit that may need removed prior to eating. Fresh dates are plump and can be found in yellow, red, or black hues before drying into their dried caramel colored skins.


Where do dates come from?

Dates are grown in Iraq, Iran, North Africa, and Morocco. In the US, dates are grown in California, Arizona, and Florida. Dates are grown on palm trees and usually need 7-10 years before harvesting.


What are the nutrition benefits of dates?

As with all dried fruits, the nutrition in dates is highly concentrated. Their sweet taste is an indication of their higher sugar content, but along with sweetness, dates are loaded with fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Dates contain iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and B vitamins. The antioxidants found in dates include flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and carotenoids. Two medjool dates (a variety of date popular in the US) contain 130 Calories, 3g of fiber.


How can I use dates?

  • Remove the pit and stuff with nut butter or nuts for a balanced snack.
  • Chop or blend and use as sweetener in baked goods or puree with milk into a naturally sweet syrup.
  • Toss chopped dates into oatmeal, trail mix, yogurt parfaits, and salads.


Healthy No Bake Snack Bars

Adapted from Super Health Kids


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup cashews or pepitas
  • 1/4 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt


Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until contents are smooth and start to clump into a ball.
  2. Line an 8-9in square pan with parchment paper, remove the mixture from the food processor and press to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the pressed mixture from the pan and cut into bars using a sharp knife.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze in an air-tight container and enjoy for a snack.

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