Dates can be eaten fresh or dried, much like raisins. People can also add them to a variety of sweet or savory dishes.
Some examples of dishes that incorporate dates include:
- Stuffed dates: People can stuff dates with almonds, pecans, cream cheese, or pistachios for a snack or finger food.
- Salads: Chopped, sliced, or pitted whole dates are an excellent addition to salads.
- Smoothies: Blending dates into a banana smoothie adds natural sweetness and extra nutritional value.
- Stews: Dates taste great in Moroccan stews or tagine dishes.
- Energy balls: People can blend dates with nuts, cranberries, oats, coconut flakes, or a variety of other ingredients to make no-bake “energy balls.”
When shopping for dates, people should look for those that are shiny and unbroken.
A person can store fresh dates in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many months and even longer in the freezer. If refrigerated, dried dates will last for about 1 year in an airtight container and many years if frozen.
A person should not eat dates that have a sour smell, are very hard, or have crystallized sugar on their surface. These signs can indicate the dates have gone bad.