Want to go on a date?!

mmallet's picture
Posted by mmallet on 2014-09-30 13:50

Each month, we will feature a fruit or vegetable of the month to get your hearts pumping, your taste buds salivating and your kitchen cooking.

When I think about dates, I immediately think of the famous date "squares" made by Thérèse in "La Petie Vie" (a popular French Canadian television series). Date squares are a holiday favourite in our family, and in many other families. Did you know that in some cultures dates are eaten to break the fast? 

The fruit of the date palm tree, dates are oblong in shape and contain a single long pit. Because they are delicate to transport, the dates we find in our supermarkets are most often dried. However, if you are lucky enough to have a Middle Eastern grocery store in your neighbourhood, you can typically find several varieties of plump and extremely delicious fresh dates.

To select fresh dates, choose fruit that does not look dry or wilted. They will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

A Potent Source of Energy

Dates are a very high source of fibre, 7.5g per 1/2 cup serving, and are a source of vitamin B6, folic acid, iron and phosphorus. It is also very high in magnesium which, among other things, helps the body metabolize energy and also build tissue and bone. 
Dates are very high in natural sugars which makes them the perfect fruit for hikers looking for a high-energy, high-carbohydrate snack.

'If Heaven Throws You a Date -- Open Your Mouth'

Here are a few ways to add dates to your diet, besides date squares. Stuff them with cheese and walnuts or almonds and serve as a finger food. They are delicious when paired with meat in couscous or a tagine. Since we celebrate Thanksgiving in October, why not add some dates to your turkey stuffing. 

To satisfy your sweet tooth, enjoy dates on their own for dessert or add them to a cheese platter. I also use dates to make a delicious date, almond butter and chocolate spread, a breakfast favourite of young and old alike. 

And what is your favourite way to eat dates?

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