Insider’s Viewpoint: The Great Date
Growing up I liked to eat everything my dad ate. On Saturday mornings he would eat this granola-type cereal, and I so badly wanted to eat the same cereal, but there was one little problem – dates. As a little girl, I would not eat dates.
Fast forward some (undisclosed number) years and now as a supermarket dietitian I have rediscovered dates. No longer are they just this chewy bit of food; now they have a certain sophistication and depth of flavor. They taste somewhat like a cross between a fig and a dried plum but with a caramel hint. (Did you know that dates were originally reserved for royalty?) More About Dates
I only recently learned that California Deglet Noor and Medjool dates are now certified by the American Heart Association and receive the Heart-Check mark because they have no saturated fat, trans fat, sodium or cholesterol. As a bonus, they also offer up many minerals like potassium and manganese.
A friend once described plain dates as “a healthy, adult gummy bear.” I have to agree. In fact, below are two of the recipes I really enjoy eating to tame my sweet tooth.
2 Ways to Tame Your Sweet Tooth with Dates
- Stuffed Dates
There are hundreds of versions of this recipe but here is the basic idea.
Ingredients: Dates, heavy cream, cheese (blue, cream, goat, etc), roasted nuts, honey
Directions: Mix 2 tbsp of heavy cream with each ½ cup of cheese. Slice the dates in half and fill with the cheese mixture. Top with roasted nuts, a drizzle of honey, and enjoy!
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Ingredients: 2 avocado, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 5 dates, ¼ cup coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt
- Soak the dates for 10-30 minutes, or until soft.
- Combine the meat of 2 avocados, the dates, cocoa powder, coconut milk, vanilla and salt, then blend until smooth. You may need to add some more coconut milk if you like the pudding thinner.
- Scoop into bowls and serve!
Alicia Jerome MS, RD, LD
United Supermarkets / Market Street