Date fruit, one of the sweetest and oldest fruit around, is the product of the date palm tree and cultivated since approximately 6000 B.C. They have been a part of the staple diet in the Middle Eastern countries and hold a certain reverence for Muslims around the world. It was one of the favorite fruits of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and have been mentioned in the Quran.
Dates are incredibly versatile & are very delicious! Scientific research has proved the many health benefits of eating date fruit. They are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, energy, sugar & fiber. Essential minerals such a calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc can be found in them too. Incorporating this fruit in our diet daily can help prevent a lot of health issues. The fiber in dates can be beneficial for preventing constipation and controlling blood sugar levels. The several antioxidants may help prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Dates may promote and ease natural labor for pregnant women when consumed during the last few weeks of pregnancy. They can also be used as a sweetener.
In Ramadan we break our fast with a date fruit as per tradition and due to it being such a nutritional powerhouse. Although plain & simple dates are very delicious, I like to jazz up my date fruit with different combinations. First I wash, remove the dried skin and pit the date. My preferred dates are Mejdool dates for their sweet, fleshy texture. Below are some of my favorite ways to serve date fruit:
- Slightly pan roast a few almonds. Stuff a single date with one whole almond. Roll in desiccated coconut.
- Fill the date with chocolate crispy clusters. Roll in crushed pistachios.
- Sweeten mascarpone cheese or cream cheese with a little maple syrup. Fill the date fruit with this mixture. Roll in crushed pecans.
- Sweeten cream cheese with orange blossom water and honey. Fill the date with this yummy mixture.
- Dark Chocolate covered dates are loved by all!
I usually make a beautiful centerpiece for my dining table in Ramadan and set different types of dates on them daily! Whenever I pass by the table, these beautiful colors bring a smile to my face! 😊
Hope you all are having a wonderful Ramadan. Please let me know any of your favorite combinations of this delicious fruit!