Maybe I used to be living under a rock, but before our switch to “real food” I had never before purchased or cooked with dates. And I am just being honest here, but it’s possible I didn’t even know what dates were. Believe it or not Medjool dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world, which means they are also a whole food, of course. And even here in North Carolina you can easily find fresh Natural Delights Medjool dates at several local grocery stores including Harris Teeter, some Lowe’s locations and soon Earth Fare as well.
The great thing about Medjool dates is that they are so sweet so they can basically act as a sweetener in recipes. And when you are avoiding refined sugar you start to get creative when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth. A few weeks after starting our “100 Days of Real Food” pledge a reader actually suggested a “chocolate torte/truffle” recipe to me (pictured) using Medjool dates, and looking back I honestly don’t think I would have survived our pledge without them!
So today, I’d like to share three more recipes using Medjool dates in case you are new to this versatile sweet fruit as well. I do want to caution you though that even though the date seeds look like little pecans they are hard as a rock (pictured), so whatever you do be extra careful to remove the seeds first!
- 1 lb Medjool dates
- 1 lb sliced organic or locally raised bacon
- 6 oz minced nuts (optional), we used cashews
- Preheat the oven to broil.
- Split one side of Medjool date lengthwise and remove pit.
- Stuff with one teaspoon minced nuts. (Optional)
- Wrap entire bacon strip around date and secure with toothpick. To prevent toothpicks from burning soak them in water for a few minutes first.
- Place under oven broiler.
- Turn once to ensure even cooking and drain well (about 3 minutes per side worked well in our oven). Serve warm / immediately.
- 2 100% whole-wheat pita breads (we got ours from Trader Joe’s)
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 2 Bananas, peeled and sliced
- Cut each pita bread in half, crosswise, to form four pita pockets.
- Gently open each pita pocket and spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to each of the interior sides.
- Top the peanut butter with the chopped dates, which have been evenly divided.
- Add the banana slices to each pita sandwich and then gently press the sides together to reform pita pockets.
- Eat immediately or grill on a panini grill for something extra special!
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup plain yogurt, whole-milk recommended
- ⅓ cup milk
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 – 4 ice cubes
- Optional: Handful of greens like spinach, kale or swiss chard
- Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree together until smooth. Enjoy!
This post has been brought to you by Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates. They are part of the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, which helps consumers discover the health benefits of Mediterranean foods. Tomorrow kicks off Mediterranean Diet Month so be sure to check out the details.