Ingredient of the Month: Dates

Dates

Dates are one of the latest crazes among raw foodies and health activists, with their nutritious qualities and sweet taste securing them a place in almost every modern age healthy recipe cookbook.

 

There are more than 200 varieties of dates, most of which are readily available in Australia all year round. While not the most attractive fruit on the market, these little guys prove correct the theory it’s what’s on the inside that counts, with their incredibly wholesome nature. Read ahead to find out why you’d be silly not to give these scrumptious superfoods a chance…

Health benefits

Energy: feeling run-down or tired? Dates are the perfect choice for a quick and easy pick-me-up. With high natural sugar content and low fat content, they provide a good source of calories that won’t make you pack on the pounds.

Fibre: according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, three medjool dates contain more than 10 percent of your daily fibre intake. Maintaining healthy digestion and blood cholesterol levels couldn’t be easier!

Vitamins & Minerals: dates contain a number of minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc to name a few) and vitamins (riboflavin, folate, vitamin K and vitamin B6). They also have high levels of antioxidants to help fight disease. Crazy to think all of that is in one small wrinkly brown blob, huh?

 

Why buy organic dates?

As with any fruit & veg, non-organic dates have often been sprayed with harmful pesticides and bug spray. Buying organic will ensure you avoid these nasty chemicals while supporting local farmers who are focused on sustainability.

 

Ideas for using dates:

  1. As a syrup – blend ‘em up and pour ‘em over your pancakes.
  2. In a smoothie – adding a few dates will add a whole lot of nutrients to your morning smoothie.
  3. In a raw slice – see recipe below.
  4. In a salad – turn a generic side salad into a delicious main course by sneaking some dates in to spice things up (walnuts and mangoes are also ideal).
  5. In a stew – it might sound strange but throwing some dates in your slow-cooker will add a delicious, sweet flavour to a meaty (or vego) stew.
  6. As a natural, fruity glue – they’re called sticky dates for a reason… forget the buttery biscuits and blend some dates and nuts together to form your cake base.

 

Healthy recipe idea:

Raw Caramel Choc Slice

For the base, simply blend all ingredients in a food processor until a sticky ball forms (approx. 2 mins) then press into a baking tray and place in the freezer. For the filling, blend all ingredients (except the raw chocolate) until creamy (approx. 3 mins) and layer on top of the base. Finally, melt the dark chocolate in a small saucepan and pour on top of the two layers. Place in the freezer to set and enjoy!
Ingredients:

Base:
– 1 and ¼ cup medjool dates
– ½ cup almonds (or any nut)
– ½ cup shredded coconut
– 2 tbsp water
– ½ tsp cinnamon
– 1 tbsp coconut oil

Filling:
– 1 and ½ cup medjool dates
– 2 tbsp almond butter
– 1 tsp pure vanilla powder or vanilla extract
– 3 ounces raw chocolate

 

Are you interested in getting fresh, organic produce delivered straight to your door? Organic and Quality Foods deliver farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cereals, nuts, herbs, spices, and more! Get in touch today or visit our online shop to get the best summer deals.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Dear Customer,

OQF will be unable to trade this week (wk16) due to a major website programming glitch. Apparently a software update has gone horribly wrong causing many websites failures around the world. Fortunately, OQF have been working on a new upgraded website platform which will now be installed hopefully within the next week allowing OQF to be online again ready for next week trading. We sincerely regret the inconvenience this may cause and apologise to all affected customers!

Rob Maclachlan