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Dates—a Tasty Treat

August 4, 2016

by: Joanne Gosselin, BFP Staff Writer

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Photo: gkuna – shutterstock.com

Dates are native to Israel and are mentioned throughout the Bible. Dates are one of the seven species referred in Deuteronomy 8:8 “a land of wheat, barley, vines, figs, pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey” (date palm honey). In Israel, date palm plantations are located in the Jordan Valley and Arava. They are a magnificent sight to be seen in the desert.

The nutritional benefits of dates include healing antioxidants, vitamins A and B, fiber, protein and many more. They are a good source of quick energy. Israeli dates do not require preservatives and are heat treated rather than fumigated to kill insects before shipping. Israeli date exports have increased over recent years and now total 65 million dollars annually. In 2015, 800 tons of dates were exported to the United States alone.

Fresh dates, dried dates and date palm honey are delicious on their own and in recipes of all kinds. The date recipes included here are just a sample to get you started.


Moroccan Stuffed Dates


Photo: bloody/shutterstock.com


12                pitted dates

2 oz. (60 g)             softened cream cheese

1 tbsp.          honey

1/8 tsp.         cinnamon

1/8 tsp.         almond extract

1 tsp.            sugar (optional)

2 tbsp.          chopped walnuts plus more for garnish


  1. Slice 12 dates lengthwise and set aside.
  2. Combine cream cheese, honey, cinnamon, almond extract, sugar and chopped walnuts.
  3. Fill each date with 1 teaspoon of filling.
  4. Top with more walnuts.


Date Balls




Photo: emarais/bridgesforpeace

2 c.               walnuts

1 c.               shredded unsweetened coconut

2 c.               soft pitted dates

2 tbsp.          coconut oil

½ tsp.           salt

1 tsp.            vanilla extract

Extra shredded coconut



  1. Process the walnuts and coconut until crumbly in a food processor.
  2. Add in the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and salt and process again until it is well mixed.
  3. Roll between your hands to form small balls.
  4. Roll the balls in shredded coconut.
  5. Place in the freezer to set for at least an hour before serving.
  6. Store the balls in a sealed container in the fridge.


Chocolate lovers—add 2 tablespoons cacao (cocoa) powder to date mixture.

Creative chefs—replace the walnuts with any nut or dried fruit of your choice.


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