Dates are a dried fruit harvested from date palm trees found in regions of tropical climate. They date back to 4000BC (no pun intended). Cultivating dates can take many years, but due to their popularity, versatility, and multi-cultural significance harvesting dates continues globally.

In America, the most common dates are medjool dates, which originate from Morocco. Medjool dates have a caramel flavor providing a rich sweetness to recipes. In fact, it is common to see dates used in recipes as a sugar substitute.

Don’t let the shriveled look of a date deceive you. Not only do they taste sweet and are versatile in recipes, they also are rich in fiber, iron and calcium. A serving of dates contains 4 grams of insoluble fiber and can promote regular bowel movements.

Banana-Date Smoothie:

1 frozen banana

1 handful of ice

8 oz milk of choice

4-pitted dates

1-2 tbsp tahini

Dash of cinnamon

Directions: Add frozen banana, ice, milk, dates and tahini to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and sprinkle with cinnamon. NOTE: Nut butter can take place of tahini if preferred

Written by: Lexi Nazzaro, Dietetic Intern 

Sources: Material adapted from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food and Nutrition Magazine (November/December 2019)