Make It A Date

Dates are one of the earliest cultivated foods – stones found in Egypt date back to 4500 BC. During the 1920s, the French put out an SOS for the sweet Medjool variety when disease threatened its Moroccan crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture came to the rescue and, 65 years later, the fruit flourishes in the lower Colorado River Valley between Phoenix and San Diego.

Medjools are fresh, not dried, and last up to 30 days without refrigeration (up to six months in the fridge), making them a perfectly portable snack. Like bananas, dates are a source of potassium (diets high in the element are associated with improved blood pressure control) and manganese (helps your body synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol and maintain blood sugar). Despite that sugary caramel flavour, they’re lower on the Glycemic Index – even better for a diabetic diet. They are a rich source of polyphenols (an antioxidant that plays a role in preventing degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular, and cancers). Just two Medjool dates supply more than 10 per cent of your daily recommended intake of dietary fibre. It seems Pharaoh knew best.

Try these healthy, delicious recipes below. (Natural Delights Medjool Dates are available at major grocery stores.)