We brought home 3 different varieties of dates and decided that dates would make a perfect Fruit of the Month for January. Before we share the delicious dishes we made with dates, let’s find out about the nutritional information of them.
Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh. Dates are great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose. The average date has 23 calories. Five to six nutritious dates or 1/4 cup of chopped dates, equals one serving.
Dates are rich in dietary fiber. They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic properties. Dates are moderate sources of vitamin-A, which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision.
Dates compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals.
Dates are an excellent source of iron. Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Dates are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
Date fruits are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Further, the fruit has moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.
Best of all, dates are sodium-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. Below are the delicious and simple recipes we made using dates.
1 cup almond milk
Option: Flax or Chia Seeds
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Coconut Date Rolls
1 lb dates
1 cup almonds
1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
Blend dates, almonds and coconut in food processor until paste is formed. Roll tablespoon of mixture into ball and roll into additional coconut. Top with an almond.
Recipe from www.weelicious.com
1 cup cashews, raw and unsalted
1 cup almonds, raw and unsalted
1/2 cup dried cranberries or chocolate chips
2 1/4 cup dates (about 20)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (or put your oven on it’s lowest setting and adjust the cooking time).
2. Place the nuts in a bowl and cover with COOL water and soak for 1 hour.
3. Cover the dates with HOT water and soak for 30 minutes. After soaking, drain off the water and pit the dates.
4. Place the oats in a food processor and grind to a powder. Place in a separate large bowl.
5. Drain the water off the nuts, place on a towel to remove excess water. Place the nuts in a food processor with the dried cranberries (or chocolate chips) and pulse until nuts are in small pieces (the nuts will be uneven pieces which is fine).
6. Place the nuts in the bowl with the oats.
7. Place the dates, vanilla and honey (agave) in food processor and pulse until it makes a puree.
8. Place the date mixture with the oat mixture and thoroughly combine all the ingredients (mixture will be thick and sticky).
9. Place the date nut mixture on a silpat on a cookie sheet. Spread out using a spatula or even your hands.
10. Shape into a long rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and measuring about 10X13 inches. Make sure the rectangle is flat and even.*
11. Bake for 4.5-5 hours or until the log is firm, but not hard (If the lowest setting on your oven is 200 degrees, cook for 4 hours).
12. Cool, cut into bars and wrap individually.
If using a dehydrator, heat at 135 degrees and dehydrate for 6-8 hours