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Janieha

Dates

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I mainly lurk here but I was wondering if anyone knows how I can use and preserve dates.

 

I have a couple of trees that were already here when we moved in and suddenly, this year, they are bearing dates like crazy. I know nothing about dates .. all I know is that I don't really like them to just eat -- they are too sweet for my taste. Ditto on any combination of dates/nuts or date candy that I've ever tasted.

 

I looked on the web and found a three recipes I hadn't heard of -- they can be blended into smooties. Another use I found is an Iraqi recipe for date syrup (for pancakes) but I suspect that would be too sweet for my liking, too, although my husband might go for it. I also discovered they can be made into sweetener, much as agave is (and unlike agave, they don't require mechanical pressing) but the directions says the "sweetener" only lasts a few weeks in the refrig. No info about preserving, although I'm thinking maybe it could be. I just don't know how and hate to waste it experimenting.

 

Does anyone have any ideas, info or recipes? Esp. for something preservable since I can't imagine gorging on dates until they are gone.

Edited by Janieha

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I don't know anything about preserving dates but I do know I love them. Growing up in CA we had them all the time and even had date malts. Yum!

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My dad used to bring home a 50 lb box of dates annually.

 

Wikipedia says:

 

Food uses

 

Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan or cream cheese. Pitted dates are also referred to as stoned dates. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from tajines (tagines) in Morocco to puddings, ka'ak (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items. Date nut bread, a type of cake, is very popular in the United States, especially around holidays. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste called "'ajwa", spread, date syrup or "honey" called "dibs" or "rub" in Libya, powder (date sugar), vinegar or alcohol. Recent innovations include chocolate-covered dates and products such as sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of champagne, for special occasions and religious times such as Ramadan.

 

Dates can also be dehydrated, ground and mixed with grain to form a nutritious stockfeed. Dried dates are fed to camels, horses and dogs in the Sahara. In northern Nigeria, dates and peppers added to the native beer are believed to make it less intoxicating.

 

Young date leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as is the terminal bud or heart, though its removal kills the palm. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible. Traditionally the female flowers are the most available for sale and weigh 300–400 grams. The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread.

 

According to a study by Al-Shahib and Marshall, in many ways, "dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits." Dates are a very good source of dietary potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%; the remainder consists of protein, fiber, and trace elements including boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc.[7]

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