There are more than 100 varieties of dates! However, you probably know one of the most popular: the Medjool date. Otherwise, the Deglet Nour date is also pretty common. These two types of dates are most appreciated for their size and caramel-like taste. Soft, sticky, and sweet, dried dates are almost irresistible! Besides, dates are native from Middle East. Long ago, dates were an integral part of Mediterranean peoples’ diet. That is why the date palm was nicknamed “tree of life”. Anyhow, whether your prefer fresh or dried dates, these fruits are always delicious in recipes and certainly have their place in our diets!

GOOD TO KNOW: Can’t get enough of dates? Discover 5 ways to eat dates and learn everything about dates!

BPT loves dates since they are an excellent source of energy! They are the perfect snack for a quick burst of energy!

  • What Are the Health Benefits of Dates?

    Dates are filled with fibers

    Dates are super rich in fibers. Indeed, just one date provides 1.6 g of fiber! Not only is this nutrient essential to the proper functioning of the digestive system and to appetite control, but it also helps reducing blood sugar levels.

    Dried dates contain a high concentration of carbs 

    Since they contain little water, dried dates are concentrated and therefore rich in simple sugars. This makes them the perfect snack for physical activities since simple sugars are quickly assimilated by the body. In other words, dates provide a quick energy boost.

    Dates are a great source of magnesium

    Dates contain a significant amount of magnesium. Indeed, a 70 g dried date portion fulfills 15% of your daily magnesium need. This mineral is essential to the development of bones and to the proper functioning of the immune system. But that’s not all! It also plays a part in the transmission of nerve impusles, in the contraction of heart muscle, and in the metabolisation of energy provided by nutrients.

  • How to Pick the Best Dates?

    When buying fresh dates, make sure to choose colourful, glossy, and soft ones. Avoid dull-looking and hard dates. Besides, you can smell dates to assess their freshness! Indeed, a particularity of fresh dates is that they have a light honey fragrance. However, if you prefer to buy dried dates, it is normal that they have a wrinkled appearence, unlike fresh ones which are smooth.

    Availability of dates

    Although dates only grow in warm regions, they are exported everywhere in the world. Dried dates, especially those of the Medjool variety, are therefore easy to find in grocery stores. They are usually available all year long in the nuts and dried fruits section. Furthermore, you can choose between pitted or unpitted dates. As for fresh dates, which are usually placed in the fruits and vegetables section, they are not as accessible as the dried alternatives.

    How to store dates

    Dried dates can be kept many weeks in a sealed container at room temperature. You can even extend their shelf life up to 12 months by placing them in the refrigerator. As for fresh dates, they can be kept 2 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Otherwise, at room temperature, they will continue their ripening process and spoil more quickly.

    Date Q&A

  • Why soak dates?

    Soaking your dates makes them easier to puree! Once filled with water, dates are less sticky and are therefore easier to grind.

  • How to pit dried dates?

    To remove the pit of a dried date, open the fruit in half and remove it with your fingers. Otherwise, you can simply buy pitted dates to avoid this sticky step.

  • How many dates should you eat a day?

    In the United States and Canada, a normal dried date serving is considered 40 g, or about 2 fruits. For a filling snack, eat them with cheese or yogurt. You’ll see, you won’t even be hungry until your next meal!

  • Do dates help with constipation?

    Yes, dates are an excellent way to help relieve constipation. In fact, because of their high fiber content, they are often considered a natural laxative. Indeed, insoluble fibers increase stool bulk and weight, thus facilitating expulsion.

  • Which countries are date producers?

    Today, the largest date producers in the world are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, dates grow in very arid regions!

  • How should I eat fresh dates?

    Before eating fresh dates, you must rinse them, remove the stalks, slit them lengthwise, and remove the pits. Voilà! Your dates are now ready to be enjoyed.

Did you know that…

the tree in which dates grow is in fact a palm tree? The date palm can measure up to 30 metres and produce more than a thousand dates each year!

Date Uses

  • Stuffed dried dates: Whether on their own or stuffed, dates make great appetizers! For delicious bites, stuff your dates with mascarpone, ricotta, or goat cheese. Then, wrap your dates in bacon or pancetta. The texture and flavour mixes add a nice twist to your dinner party routine!
  • Date squares: A real treat, this dessert made with a date filling and crispy butter and oat crust is a big classic!
  • Date puree: With dried dates and water, you can easily make a delicious date puree. Add it in your pastries or spread it on your toasts!
  • Date energy balls: Add dried date pieces or date puree to your energy balls! This well help you get nice sticky balls while also providing a sweet touch to your snacks.
  • Date muffins: A sweet muffin recipe made with date puree… is there anything better to eat with a warm comforting beverage?
  • Oatmeal date cookies: This might just be your new favourite snack! Did you know you could make yummy and sweet cookies using date puree instead of refined sugar? Yep, it’s possible!
  • Date cookies: Dates cookies are soft and only necessit a few basic ingredients such as butter, eggs, brown sugar, and yogurt. A great way to satisfy your sweet cravings.
  • Recipes with dates: Pork tenderloin with dates, roast beef with dates, chicken tajine with dates… Dates are delicious with many types of proteins!
  • Smoothies with dates: The best combination for your next smoothie? Bananas and dates! You’ll see it’s super good!

Nutritional Values of Dates

Dates are a good source of energy since they are rich in carbohydrates and fibers. They also contain a lot of magnesium, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate, potassium, copper, and manganese.

PortionUnits5 Medjool dates (120 g)1 homemade date square (61 g)
  Omega 3gNDND
  Omega 6gNDND
Vitamin Aµg8.455.4
Thiamin (B1)mg0.060.22
Riboflavin (B2)mg0.070.08
Niacin (B3)NE2.11.7
Pantothenic acid (B5)mg0.970.31
Pyridoxine (B6)mg0.30.08
Biotin (B8)µgND2.2
Folic acid (B9)µg18.031.0
Cobalamin (B12)µgND0
Vitamin Cmg00.1
Vitamin Dµg00.1
Vitamin E (Tocopherol, alpha)mg0.10.1
Vitamin Kµg3.21.0
Source : Canadian Nutrient Files (CNF)Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, Date, Medjool, Food code: 5401.Canadian Nutrient Files, Nutrient profile, Cake, date square (matrimonial cake), homemade, Food code: 4081.