Remember that time your hippie aunt tried to convince you that apples were “nature’s candy”? Put your childhood disillusions aside and make way for Mother Nature’s golden gumdrop: the date! These plump beauties are naturally born with a sweet 80% sugar content and a delightfully sticky chew.
THE DATE’S NOT OVER YET:
Health experts call dates an “ideal food” because of their nutritional balance between energy-boosting sugar, high fiber, and super rich antioxidant and mineral content. Dates are an excellent source of potassium, calcium, and B-vitamins, and are up there at the top of the ORAC scale, which measures antioxidant values. Though seemingly “high” in sugar, dates do not have adverse affects on blood sugar – all that good fiber is like a sugar safety net slowing its absorption into your bloodstream. For that reason, dates are a superb substitute for sugar in any recipe, especially smoothies, mousses, muffins, and nut milks.
Dates are an easy portable snack on their own. Though if you have an extra minute, I recommend giving them a yummy boost by filling them with a walnut, some nut butter, or tahini. They’re also a quick topping to instantly upgrade your oatmeal, salad, or ice cream.
You might remember your hippie aunt’s date-studded fruitcake or mildly inedible “date bars,” but the lexicon of date-based recipes has (thankfully) evolved into an exciting spread of healthy snacks and nutrient dense desserts.
Check out some of our favorite date recipes:
- Choosing Raw’s “Homemade Almond Milk” and “Chocomole“
- Elana’s Pantry “Vegan Chocolate Power Balls“
- Vegetarian Times’ “Chickpea and Date Tagine“