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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

    1. 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!

 

  1. 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

    Directions:

    1. Soak the dates for 10-30 minutes, or until soft.
    2. 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.
    3. Scoop into bowls and serve!

 

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