I was doing a quick search to find out how many carbohydrates were in a date, when I came across a random “answer forum” where someone stated “Dates come from plums.” in a rather matter of fact way.
They what???? Then I started thinking, where do they come from? I’d never really thought about where they came from or how they were grown or anything about them before. Prunes are dried plums, raisins are dried grapes (craisins are dried cranberries, right? :) …are dates dried something?
Well, dried dates are from fresh dates, folks, just in case you didn’t know. Just like dried apricots are from fresh apricots and dried figs are from fresh figs. Why they all don’t have fancy names for their dried counterparts, I have yet to find out, but I think they all should…or they all shouldn’t, don’t you? None of this some do and some don’t stuff!
So, did you know that dates develop in clusters on palm trees that can grow to 75 feet in height?
And, yes, people do eat them fresh, though I, personally, have never had the benefit of encountering a fresh date. However, if I did, I think I’d try something like this Candied Dates with Cardamom recipe. Doesn’t that sound/look amazing?
I’ve featured dates of the dried variety before in several different recipes because I love using them to naturally sweeten foods. Have you tried the Orange Date Bars yet? Or the Chia Seed Pudding? The Ginger Confections and the Key Lime Pie I just reviewed also use this delicious, sweet fruit.
The other night, I created another recipe boasting dates. It was my parent’s idea really…Dad asked me if there was any of the crust leftover from the Key Lime Pie I made the night before. Then Mom said, “Couldn’t you make cookies kind of like that?”
“I can try.”, I said. And this is what happened…
The recipe makes 12 cookies, but I don’t know what became of them all, so maybe you should double it.
12 pitted dates
1 c. walnuts or pecans
1 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
4 oz dark chocolate chips
Blend dates and walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. (It might start to form a paste, but conversely, don’t worry if it’s a little chunky.) Add egg, vanilla, salt and soda and blend to combine. Fold in chips. Spoon onto parchment covered cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. You want them to just turn golden and yet still be soft in the middle. Let cool before serving. These cookies are still moist and chewy a day later…and I don’t know about beyond that. I don’t think I’d ever get them to last that long.
So here are some stats – no gluten, no dairy, no grain, no refined sugar. Nutrients galore and approximately 18 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat per serving, which is (cough, cough) 2 cookies.