The date, soft, sweet, and chewy, has enjoyed a popularity that reaches back nearly as far as our recorded history. The ancient Egyptians savored this flavorful fruit. Though it may not look as attractive as some other fruits that come to mind, the date, with its reddish-brown wrinkly skin and waxy sticky feel, is surprisingly scrumptious.
Dates are rich in a number of B-vitamins, as well as Vitamins A and C. Dates are also an excellent source of dietary fiber that actually cleanses the digestive system. The dried form of this fruit may have flourished in part because of its sustainability; while other dried fruits tend to desiccate and harden quickly, dates remain supple and succulent for quite some time. Enjoy dates as a quick snack, as part of a trail mix, added to cold or hot cereal, mixed in with salad, or added to gourmet cooked preparations.
Dates can even be pressed into a fabulous condiment, as in Israeli date butter (a table condiment served with fresh warm pita bread and cheese). Personally, I love all these versions, but if you really want the full experience, just pick up some Medjool Dates, pits and all; pop a whole date in your mouth, spit out the pit and savor the rest, just as our ancestors did. Or make a simple, fresh date salad.
- Combine in bowl thedesired amount of pitted and chopped dates, mixed baby greens, and goat cheese.
- Add spices to taste, including cilantro, parsley, and sage.
- Add oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Toss and serve.