Also Known as
Description Dates are among the most ancient of fruits. It's a universal nourishing fruit. It is held in high esteem from ancient times. It is a cylindrical food of reddish brown colour. It has fleshy pericarp surrounding a single seed containing 60 to 70 % sugar. It is available in fresh as well as dried form. Dates are nuggets of nutrition that satisfy a sweet tooth, making them ideal snacks to stave off hunger. Dates are availale in the market in 2 colours - black and a little dark brown in colour.
Wash the fruit, cut the dates in half, remove the stones and chop the flesh finely or coarsely. It is great addition into salads.
How to Select
Wash the dates, and slice them vertically and use as a garnish for cakes, custard or any sweet dish.
Select fresh dates that are smooth-skinned, glossy, and plump. Avoid dates that are broken, cracked, dried or shriveled, or that smell sour. The sticky surface of date attracts dust and impurities of the air to settle down hence, advisable to purchase the best varieties in good packing condition and wash them thoroughly before use.
Look for plump fruit with unbroken, smoothly wrinkled skins. Packaged dates are available pitted, unpitted, or chopped
Most supermarkets stock fresh dates in the produce section and keep dried dates near raisins. For both types, look for plump fruit with unbroken, smoothly wrinkled skins. Avoid dates that smell bad or have hardened sugar crystals on their skins.
Packaged dates are available pitted, unpitted, or chopped. Dried dates keep for up to a year in the refrigerator. Fresh dates should be refrigerated in tightly sealed containers; they'll keep up to eight months. If stored in the kitchen cabinet, they'll stay fresh for about a month.
If dates dry out, they can be "plumped" with a little warm water, fruit juice, or for fancier dishes, your favorite liqueur. Don't store dates near strongly flavored items such as garlic. Dates tend to absorb outside odors.Culinary Uses
· Dates are great on their own, but for an extra-special treat, try stuffing them with whole almonds or chopped pieces of walnuts or pecans. For a spicy twist, tuck in a piece of crystallized gingerroot.
· Adding dates to home-baked breads, cakes, muffins, and cookies adds richness and nutrition to otherwise ordinary recipes. And the natural moisture of dates adds to the quality of the final product.
· Dates work well in fruit compotes, salads, and desserts. Chopped or slivered, dates can even be sprinkled on side dishes like rice, couscous, or vegetables. To slice or chop dates, chill them first. The colder they are, the easier they are to slice.
· True, dates provide more calories than most fruits, but they make a great substitute for processed sweets, like candy, to help you stick to your weight-loss routine.
· The crispness, coolness and honey-like sweetness make a wonderful Khajur Pak when inculcated with roasted almond and Cashewnuts giving it a nutty and caramalised flavour.
· Dates can be stuffed with soft cheese, almonds and other fillings to serve as savories.
· You can also offer them with after-dinner coffee.
· Get ready to be shaken by the Dates Milkshake! Milk boiled with fresh dates is an excellent drink for childrens. Make a paste of fresh Dates. Then add it to chilled Milk and scoop it up with Vanilla ice cream. Top it with pieces of chopped dates and another scoop of ice cream.
· Dates-Tamarind is Khatta-Meetha chutney for the Bhel. How to Store
Preserve its freshness in an air tight container in refrigerator. It will stay good for 8 months. . Fresh dates should be refrigerated in tightly sealed containers; they'll keep up to eight months. If stored in the kitchen cabinet, they'll stay fresh for about a month. Don't store dates near strongly flavored items such as garlic. Dates tend to absorb outside odors. Health Benefits
· Dates provide natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose.
· Being easily digested, they are very useful for supplying energy to the body.
· Loaded with fiber -- both soluble and insoluble -- dates are able to fill you up and keep your bowel habits regular as they have laxative effect. They can be taken raw or soaked overnight and taken after making them into fine syrup.
· It is an effective food for weak heart.
· As an energy food, they can be packed in lunchboxes as an alternative to chocolate.
· They are an excellent source of potassium and provide numerous other important vitamins and minerals -- quite a powerhouse packed in a tiny, portable package.