The Humble Date
The fruit of the date palm tree, the date, is believed to have originated somewhere around the Persian Gulf. It is considered one of the oldest cultivated fruits and is part of the staple diet in Middle Eastern countries. When ripe, they are brown and shriveled, resembling a prune. There are several varieties of dates categorized into three groups based on their sugar content – soft, semi-dry and dried.
Consumed in both fresh and dried form, they are sweet with a rich, deep flavor and slightly chewy texture. They can be chopped, candied, stuffed and added to various recipes and even used as a substitute for refined sugar. Besides their rich taste, they are a powerhouse of nutrition that can boost your energy and have a number of health benefits. Here are just a few:
Dates are high in iron making them the perfect home remedy for iron deficiency (anemia).
Dates contain potassium and are a natural laxative, so they can help with both constipation and diarrhea.
Dates contain fluorine which inhibits tooth decay by removing plaque and strengthening tooth enamel.
Dates contain organic sulphur which reduces allergic reactions and seasonal allergies.
There are several varieties of dates. The Medjool (Morrocco), Barhi and Halawy (Iraq), Hayani (Egypt) and Iteema (Algeria) to name a few.
Source: 18 Benefits of Date Fruit and Its Nutrial Value by Vineetha in Fruits healthbeacon.com
Recipe – Date “Bon Bons”
Simmer together until soft, then cool:
2 cups chopped dates
½ cup orange juice
Put in a large bowl and add:
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 ½ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
½ tsp. vanilla
Mix well and roll in unsweetened, shredded coconut. Refrigerate.