Dates

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by Ken Anderson, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    To begin, please note that this is in the food section, not the relationships section of the forum.

    I mentioned dates before, but in the Figs thread, so I figured that dates deserved a thread of their own, given that they taste so much better than figs.

    Normally, I get the small containers of Medjool dates that they carry in the store, but they are much cheaper when I buy them in 3-lb or 5 lb bags from other distributors on Amazon.com.

    medjool dates.png
    The problem is that I much prefer the ones with pits, perhaps because the pitted ones dry out, and just don't taste as good, and sometimes when I buy them online, I don't notice that I am ordering pitted dates, and then I'm stuck with five pounds of dates that aren't as good as I had hoped.

    So, dates are much better than figs and un-pitted dates are slightly better than pitted dates. Got it?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I am having trouble imagining a rational human being who didn't want to discuss dates.

    Natural_Delights_Medjool_3731.png
     
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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  3. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Are you serious? . You talkin' fresh figs? .. No way! :p

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    Next time you get stuck with five pounds of pitted dates try this!

    This cake used to appear at all of our family get-togethers, it travels well and disappears quickly.

    Date Cake
    1 1/2 -2 cups of whole dates cut into pieces, one standard size package, don’t drive yourself nuts.
    1 cup solid vegetable shortening (I use Crisco)
    2 cups boiling water
    2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 t baking soda
    1 t salt
    1 t vanilla
    2 cups AP flour
    1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

    Mix dates, shortening, and boiling water. When the shortening has melted add sugar, eggs, soda, salt, vanilla, flour, and nuts. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees for approximately one hour. I start checking after about 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature and frost using your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. If you can find cream cheese with pineapple in your area use that instead of plain cream cheese.
     
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  5. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Reminds me of date filled turnover cookies my mother baked every Christmas. They were good. A slightly different recipe. Her outside crust was not sweet, more like pie dough.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    We have 3 date palms, 2 of which I grew from pits removed from store-bought dates. The 1 we bought at Wal-Mart 5 years ago was almost dead, quite reasonable, planted about a foot high. Today it is as high as our house, produces seed pods, but no fruit, male plant, a chance you take.

    Palm at right is one I grew from seed, about 3 years old. Fig tree enclosed by pallets for wind protection, about 4 years old here, today it's 3 feet higher than the pallets, right now has a few dozen figs on it still green. We also have to protect low or new plants from the bunnyrabbits, of which there are quite a few residing with us!
    [​IMG]



    The 2 Date Palms grown from seed, last winter, note Fig tree has lost it's leaves, just twigs pointing upwards. The tall bushy-looking tree above and behind the pallets is a Creosote Bush, desert scrub, which sprouted up there from a seed blown in the wind. I've nurtured it, supported to keep straight, training it into a tree. It seems to like it, growing very fast, yellow flowers several times a year. Creosote found in the Desert grows low and spreading, really a bush not a tree. Now, Mesquite is something else! Will take pics tomorrow.
    [​IMG]






    Our Valencia Orange, the year it was planted, also bought from the trash heap. It's about 5 years old now, as high as the rock wall.
    [​IMG]

    Last year's production; we got 8 oranges, about the sweetest I've ever tasted!



    I can't believe I grew this! And I never really cared for oranges before.
    (No idea why the next one is a highlighted link!
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    I've been here a couple of times and have ordered from them too, but haven't thought about them in a long time. I think I'll order some soon.

    http://www.shieldsdategarden.com/
     
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  8. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    My mom made those too!

    When she was in a hurry she would use the same ingredients and shape them into pinwheels.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I like dates and figs but prefer figs....dates are just a little too sweet for me....I'm sweet enough. :)
     
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  10. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I don't think I have ever had a date. Are they anything like prunes?
     
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  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Shirley Martin
    No, not really. Prunes are much more juicy unless dried, while dates are already dry when ripe and edible. Dates are very sweet, fibrous but easy to chew and swallow, they "keep" just about forever, especially if refrigerated; they have a rather impermeable "skin" which protects them and keeps them moist inside. Here's the whole scoop on them:

    Health benefits of dates
    • Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits packed with an impressive list of phyotnutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for normal growth, development, and overall well-being.

    • Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh and simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. 100 g of mejdool dates hold 277 calories. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they traditionally served to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.

    • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber diet works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps protect the colon mucous membrane from cancer-causing chemicals binding to it in the colon.

    • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.

    • They are minor sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 IU or 5% of RDA per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

    • They compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Thus, eating dates found to offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

    • Zeaxanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration, especially in the older adults.

    • Dates are excellent source of iron, carry 0.90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

    • Further, they are excellent sources of potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of daily recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. They, thus, offer protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

    • Date fruits are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. The human body uses manganese as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper required for the production of red blood cells. Magnesium is essential for bone growth.

    • Further, the fruit has moderate levels of the B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin-K. It contains healthy amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin-K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.
     
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  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Dates are also great as a natural healthy sweetener. I have added a date when I am making a green smoothie, and it just seems to add more richness as well as sweetens the smoothie , and also adding some good nutrients.
    Sometimes, I add a couple dates in the blender when I am making my fresh almond milk, along with a dab of vanilla flavoring, and the almond milk is then sweet and delicious.
    I just made more almond milk today, and added 3 dates into it.
    I like making almond milk “shakes” in the blender by adding ice cubes and blending it until it is thick like a milkshake. Since it is nothing but almond milk, and ice (and maybe some whey protein powder), it makes a healthy treat on these hot days.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  13. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I eat dried dates every other day..I eat prunes but I prefer dates..

    In Spain of course they are growing on Palms everywhere, not here sadly...
     
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  14. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    Dates make a great cocktail nibble if you wrap them in bacon and grill or broil them until the bacon is cooked.

    They are also nice stuffed with blue cheese or flavored cream cheese before adding the bacon.

    They are a little work to put together but it can all be done ahead of time.

    [​IMG]

    I wish bacon was a vegetable!!!
     
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  15. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Oh, I bet those bacon dates would be really good. [​IMG]
     
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  16. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    yes bacon wrapped dates are deeeelishussss..:D..as well as Cheese stuffed dates, try stuffing each date with an almond!!
     
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  17. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    You folks who have never had a date should get out more ;)
     
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  18. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    OOPs...……….I stepped into the wrong conversation.
    I thought that, …..well...…….that you were giving tips for us guys so I uh,...…..thought I was getting some good information until I pictured wrapping my gal in bacon. Since she's gone pretty much vegetarian for now, the bacon thing will have to wait a while.
    That said, she certainly does like almonds and cheese so...……...
     
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  19. Neville Telen

    Neville Telen Well-Known Member
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    The best are the fresh ones that are still soft and gooey, and deadly sweet. Once mummified, the flavor goes bye-bye with the texture. I'm very lucky in that it appears someone at one of the farmers-market grows them. The fresh stuff is like $15 a pound (same price as those Aussie candied apricots I used to get at Harry&David), but I can make it last a month.
     
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  20. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    The ones that I get are usually quite good, or at least the ones that still have the pits in them.
     
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