Why dates are so good
Dates have significant nutritional properties, enabling them to be food that also works as medicine.
That’s because they are:
- high in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, meaning they can lower elevated cholesterol and aid in bowel regularity;
- rich in potassium, which is important for controlling your blood pressure;
- a good source of iron—for healthy red blood cells; and,
- low to medium (53–57) on the glycaemic index scale, so they can be safely incorporated into the diets of people with diabetes.
Dates are also naturally free from fat, cholesterol, gluten and sodium!
Which dates should you use?
There’s a wide variety of dates and all of them are health-promoting and nutritious. The main difference in terms of food preparation is whether you should use fresh dates, such as the medjool variety (which are moist) or dried dates. Both have their advantages for certain dishes.
How to enjoy more dates
Dates are very versatile and can be used as a snack, to create desserts and for their thickening ability in savoury dishes.
Try the following:
- Dried dates: slice and cook with hot cereall; soften in boiling water and puree into a delicious caramel sauce
- Fresh dates: enjoy instead of lollies. Stuff with nuts and serve with a hot drink instead of biscuits; blend with nuts or seeds to form bliss balls; puree with avocado and cacao powder to create a frosting for cakes
For a sugar alternative, simply replace the sugar with the same weight of medjool dates and you will get the same sweet taste plus 16 essential vitamins and nutrients!