Exotic dates are suitable for a multitude of preparations and if you consume them raw they retain all their properties.
Coming from a large palm tree native to the Middle East, the date adapts to any place with a dry and arid climate. A date palm can bear, in its best condition, up to 200 kg of fruit, which shows the generosity and abundance of this plant.
A FRUIT WITH MANY VARIETIES
There are numerous varieties of dates that can be found in the market both fresh and dried. Also, among the dry there are soft, semi-dry and dry.
- Light date. The dry date that I use the most is called, in Arabic, Deglet Nour, whose translation into Spanish is “light date”. It is soft, smooth and is quite easy to use in the kitchen, as it integrates well with the rest of the ingredients. It works like other good sweeteners, but retaining its specific character.
- Medjool. It is the largest, sweetest and meatiest. I do not use it to sweeten, but as the main ingredient, since it is a great recipe by itself.
- Then we found many other varieties like the Bahri, the Halawi and Mazafati, which are usually taken fresh, as they are juicier and very soft, although each has its distinctive flavor. And we also found the Zahidi, which is drier and less sweet and the list could go on.
POWER IN ABUNDANCE
Like all fruit, the date is very nutritious and has great beneficial properties for the body. First of all, it provides immediate energy and, thanks to the fiber, long-lasting. It is also rich in minerals such as potassium (335 mg in 50g), magnesium (30 mg) and iron (1.5 mg).
5 RAW PREPARATIONS WITH DATES
I recommend that to make the following preparations you buy the dates with bone, as they keep better. Those sold without the bone may have added sugar.
- Like a honey: soak them a little, depending on how dry they are, and then crush them until they achieve a creamy consistency, like a honey. This preparation can be applied to endless recipes as a replacement for sugar.
- Fillings: once the bone is removed, fill them with nuts, a cream, etc.
- Covered in chocolate: melt 120 g of cocoa butter in a bain-marie, mix it with 80 g of cocoa powder, 50 g of lucuma, 1 pinch of salt and 50 ml of agave syrup and that’s it. Now you can bathe the dates and take them to cool to harden.
- In nougat: crush dates with nuts to your liking until they reach a moldable consistency and shape them into nougat. You can add flavors such as coconut, cocoa, carob, etc., or add crushed hemp to make energy bars, or give them a round shape to get truffles.
- Cakes: with the nougat base, spread it in a cake mold and fill it with crushed fruit, cut into strips or grated (mango, apple, pear, banana, pineapple, etc.).