8 Things to Do With Dates (ahem: the Fruit, not Men)


A lot of things are called “nature’s candy”, but the date really is. Sweet, luscious, just a bit gooey – could it get any better than that? Actually, it does. With calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, plus a range of vitamins and amino acids, dates make a great part of a well-rounded diet. They’re also a smart sweet if you’re watching your blood sugar – the glycemic score of dates is a very low 9.

In the middle of the day when I start to crave candy, I satiate the urge with stuffed dates. I’ll split the date open, remove the pit and then fill it up with whatever I have on hand. Here are some favorite stuffing combinations for a decadent treat:

-Fill the dates with cacao nibs and almond butter and roll them in coconut flakes.

-Bleu cheese (foodies know the sweet-pungent contrast really works well!)

-For an Algerian dessert, stuff the dates with marzipan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

-I’ve never tried this one, but it sounds intriguing: stuff the dates with almonds and then wrap them with thin slices of bacon or proscuitto. Secure with a toothpick and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until the bacon crisps.

-Fill them with mascarpone or cream cheese (flavored with lemon juice and honey). You can eat this as-is, or wrap prosciutto around it and bake it as above.

-Blend a mixture of pistachios, orange juice, orange zest and a pinch of sea salt until you get a thick paste. Fill your dates with this for a very Middle Eastern flavor.

-Make a mixture of roasted sesame seeds, sliced almonds and crushed cardamom. Stuff and enjoy.

-Whip up some of my chocolate-avocado pudding and top with chopped dates. Mmmmm.

Image: cyancey

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