Since palm trees grow best in the desert, the U.S. crop of dates is grown in the deserts of California and Arizona. After they’ve soaked, scoop out at least 1/4 cup of the soaking water and then drain the dates. 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. No forks or spoons required, just easy-to-pick-up party foods, so you can clean up in no time.Read More 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. Press a walnut half into the cheese filled dates. The sugar will melt back into the dates. Medjool dates are a FRESH FRUIT. Step 1 Mix cream cheese and Gorgonzola cheese together in a bowl. There are endless varieties of dates grown in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Depending on where you live, you may also come across names such as Barhi, Dayri, Halawy, Khadrawy, Thoory, and Zahidi. 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. Soak the dates in “just boiled” water for 1-2 hours. 2) Stuff dates with nuts or cheese and enjoy them as an afternoon snack. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College. Since they’re dried, their … 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. Simmer gently until they are soft when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes or more. These chewy, sweet fruits are available in several varieties and are sold both fresh and dried. Place the dates in a saucepan and cover with water. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to drizzle water over the dates if you don't have a spray bottle. They are not as sweet or moist as Medjool dates but have a softer caramel-like taste. Repeat with the rest of your dates. Beat in … Open 1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix and add the dry mix to your cookie dough. Open up the pitted dates, and fill them with a cream cheese of your choice. I have some chopped dates, coated in oat flour that are slightly hard. 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. Bring the water to boil. In a mixing bowl of a stand-in mixer, cream the butter, … Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. 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. However, their taste will diminish over time, so for optimal flavor, it is best to eat the dates within a week. They are also available via mail order from some growers and may be found at specialty stores and, often, Middle Eastern markets. 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! 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. The … Wring it out well. Wet a paper towel under running water briefly so that it is damp, but not completely soaking. Dry roast sesame seeds on a low to medium heat until they turn aromatic As always, all opinions are my own. Add the mix when you're pouring in the dry ingredients and combine the dough as directed in your recipe. Want to give your dates even more flavor? (Many thanks to Sunsweet for sponsoring this post! 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. Chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and mineral extractability of Sudanese date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits. Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. So don't miss it! Deglet Noor dates have amber-colored skin and a more elongated shape. Place just the amount of dates you plan to use in a bowl, then cover with boiling water to fully submerge the fruit. The water should reach just below the basket. 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. 4) Use dates in place of raisins for oatmeal-date cookies. This video shows you how to make delicious date cake. Also, you might find it hard to believe, how easy it is to make this Date Filling. The University of Sydney Glycemic Index. Glass or plastic tupperware works well. )Continue Reading Simply slice the date lengthwise and the pit will easily pop out. Medjool dates are one of the most popular, known for their large size, soft texture and rich flavor. You can also blend them into a smoothie—they just need to be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to reconstitute first. 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. The fresh dates are available soft, semi-soft or dry. To Substitute Date Paste for Maple Syrup: Use double the amount of date paste when subbing for maple syrup. You will love adding these to your holiday baking list! 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. Portion them out into small containers before freezing—they will thaw beautifully and retain their sweetness. If they do not smell good or show signs of decay, the dates have expired. Dates come in many varieties, but only a few are available in the United States. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. So, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of maple syrup, I’d recommend using 1 cup of date paste. 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. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter and 3/4 cup white sugar until light and fluffy. 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. These really are the perfect oatmeal cookie filled with chewy dates and crunchy pecans. Thank You! 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. Add baking soda, mix well and switch off the heat. 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. They will still be quite soft but have a bit more of a toothsome quality to them. 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. An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. 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. 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. The vanilla pudding mix will add moisture to the cookies, so they stay soft and last longer. 5) Wrap pitted dates in bacon and serve them as a tasty appetizer. Set aside for 15 minutes and grind the mixture to a fine paste. Set your taste-buds reeling with delight with this enticingly delicious Date Filling. Spray the dates lightly with the spray bottle of water on all sides. Dried dates are sold year-round in boxes or packages and often found in the baking aisle. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to drizzle water over the dates if you don't have a spray bottle. Fresh dates are plump and dark brown with a glossy sheen. 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.. Or, of course, dates play a big role in baked goods, adding sweetness and texture to cakes, breads, and cookies. Dates are among the sweetest fruits in the world. Follow this easy process to make your own jar: Soak dates in hot water to soften them. Look for fresh dates that are plump and have a slight glossiness to their skin. If you’re using the smaller deglet noor dates, you’ll need to use more! Super-ize Them. Dates will last up to one month when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Although dates are super sweet it doesn't mean that they're bad for you—on the contrary. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Most people think of dates as a dried fruit because they’re thinking of the dates you buy in the baking aisle. A dry date simply contains less moisture than a soft date. Add the dates to the steamer basket or colander once it starts to boil and sprinkle lightly with water. Let the dates soak for about 10 minutes, then and then strain the fruit and discard the water. 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. I love this recipe, I hope you like it too. Place Medjool dates in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour hot water over them. That said, there are many other ways to enjoy them, from savory appetizers to sweet desserts. 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. Place your dates in an airtight container. Include vanilla pudding in the dough. Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. 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. Recipe works best fresh, soft medjool dates. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find fresh dates prepackaged or in bulk at your local supermarket. Boil water in a saucepan and add the chopped dates to it and let it cook for 5 minutes. Fill a small spray bottle with water. Medjool dates range from brown to black in color and are large in size. 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. Food Sci Nutr. Read our, The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. What can be done to make them soft again? 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. The harvest then takes place between September and March, making this a fall and winter fruit. The dry fresh date is not the same as the dried date. 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.