What are dates?
Dates are berries that come from the date palm tree. With origins for millions of years, these bite-sized fruits come in many forms, from whole and pitted to powders and syrups.
Benefits of dates
Dates are a nutrient-dense food that includes several vitamins like B and C, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper and selenium. Dates are high in natural sugar and antioxidants while low in fat and sodium.
Dates may aid in gut health due their fibrous properties, promote heart health by reducing bad cholesterol, and can be used as a sugar substitute.
How to pick dates
As mentioned above, dates come in many forms. The healthiest form is organic and raw. They can be purchased packaged in your local produce department or in bulk at some health-focused food stores.
Super Simple Date Energy Balls
- 10-15 whole organic dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup crushed raw almonds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2-3 tbsp. cacao powder
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. With a spoon, scoop about 2 tbsps. of mixture and hand roll into small balls. Finish each date ball by covering with more coconut, almonds, or cacao powder. Store in refrigerator for up to a month.
Nut Butter and Pistachio Date Bites
- 10 whole, pitted dates, cut in half
- 1/2 cup raw nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut or your favorite)
- 1 cup crushed pistachios
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place halved dates on cookie sheet and fill each with a dollop of nut butter. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios. Eat immediately or store in refrigerator for up to one month.