Exotic Exciting Dates
Dates are fun. Dates are exciting. Dates are for any time of the week. What is also awesome is that dates are not only a social or romantic night out, but they are also nature’s natural glossy tree candy. How fun is that! Enjoy these Almond Date Bombs for an amazing sweet treat that is not only delectable but nutritious.
What are dates?
Dates are a brown oblong edible fruit from the Date palm tree. In addition, dates grow in clusters like grapes. Dates are originally from the Middle East and there are more than 3000 varieties in existence. In the United States, Southern California produces the largest amounts of dates. Some of the better known varieties are the Medjool and Deglet Noor.
The color of dates “ranges from light red to amber, regular Deglet Noor dates have a firm flesh and a sweet, delicate flavor. Medjool dates, by contrast, have a rich, almost caramel-like taste and a soft, chewy texture. Thanks to their high fructose content, Medjools are also extremely sweet, even sweeter than Deglet Noor dates. Medjool dates also vary greatly in size, but all Medjools are generally larger than Deglet Noor dates.” Deglet Noor dates are more common. So, if you pick up a bag and it does not indicate the type of date or if they are called ‘regular’ dates they are most likely a Deglet Noor date which is also generally less expensive than Medjool dates.
In the early 20th century dates were considered exotic and mysterious because of it’s Middle East connection. And the draw to these little tiny fruits was irresistible. The Coachella Valley and Indio became the date center of the growing community. Additionally, it was also where the first National Date Festival took place. This festival is still somewhat in existence today. In fact, it is now part of the Riverside Fair, check it out here: Riverside County Fair and Date Festival. However, moving into modern times, dates are now touted to health-conscious consumers. And for good reason. They are indeed nutritious and good for you.
Uses & Nutrition
Dates can be dried and used in products such as bake goods (cakes, cookies, bars etc), they can replace sugar in some instances, In addition, they can be used in savory, spicy or sweet dishes. And, they are easy to incorporate into smoothies and sauces for a little sweetness. We love using dates in our recipes since it is a plant-based whole food. In fact, they add sweetness to most applications while avoiding refined sugar. Because dates are also low on the glycemic index they have a low impact on blood sugar levels. Additionally they are high in fiber, antioxidants and contain several vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron and vitamin B6. Dates are definitely worth adding to your diet.
For this recipe we used Medjool Dates, the extra caramel flavor of the dates and the almond butter tastes out of this world delicious!
- 16 dates (Medjool)
- ⅓ cup Almond Butter
- Optional toppings: cinnamon, coconut flakes, almonds, goji berries, dried rose petals, dried powdered fruit, chocolate etc.
- Make a small slit in the date length wise, just big enough to remove the pit. You don’t want to cut them all the way through.
- Take about a teaspoonful of almond butter and “stuff” the date.
- Top with your favorite toppings. Let your imagination run wild.
- Pop them into your mouth and enjoy.