Dates are wonderfully sweet and popular fruits native to the Arabian Peninsula. The sweet fruit of the date palm tree, dates have been cultivated as far back as 8,000 years ago. Currently, there are over 100 different varieties of date palm trees found worldwide. In addition to tasting great, dates contain healthy nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals. Dates are high in natural sugar yet have a low glycemic load – meaning that when eaten in moderation, they have a relatively mild impact on blood sugar levels, making it a great sugar alternative! These natural superfoods are so versatile that they are widely used in cooking and baking recipes. Here are our 4 cooking ideas involving dates that you have not heard about.
- Caffé Dhibs
For all the coffee-drinkers reading this, this brew is for you. Blending the goodness of coffee and date syrup, Caffé Dhibs is an amazing drink to start your day with. It is a layered coffee with natural date dhibs topped with a dollop of whipped cream. The antioxidants present in coffee and the numerous essential nutrients found in dates make this a potent and healthy blend. Want to try and make a similar beverage at home? Try gourmet dhibs by Bateel (available for on-line orders).
- Couscous Salad
It’s the season of fresh greens and who doesn’t love eating salad. It is widely accepted that the more colourful your salad is, the better! A refreshing break from your everyday salad – the Mediterranean Couscous Salad constitutes softly cooked burghul with chickpeas, Kholas dates, apricots, figs, tomatoes, onions, baby zucchini and fava beans in a zesty lemon dressing. Pack this salad for lunch or eat it straight from the fridge – either way it’s a healthy choice.
- Chicken Tagine
Have you ever tried adding organic dates to a main course item or meat dish? Popular in North Africa, a classic tagine combines meat, chicken, or fish with an assortment of vegetables in a thick, spicy sauce. A sweet twist on the cult favourite – Chicken Tagine is a succulent chicken stew prepared with Khidri Dates, dried apricots, wild Rocca and green olives served on a bed of saffron rice. With the caramel taste of Khidri dates, this dish is ideal for a feast.
- Dates Tres Leches
Dried dates are portable treats capable of satisfying any sweet tooth. A popular ingredient in desserts, dates can be enjoyed at all stages of maturity – unripe, semi-ripe and ripe. Dates Tres Leches combines rhubarb (semi-ripe) dates blended into a light and moist pound cake. This dish is then covered with fresh mascarpone and Chantilly cream. Light and refreshing, this cake is perfect for dessert.
We hope you enjoyed our most favourite recipes that feature the sweet dried fruit. With a distinct flavour profile, dates can be practically added to cakes, puddings, biscuits or even used in stews, tagines, in stuffing or salads as mentioned in this article. Bon Appetit!