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Team Clif Bar Blog
Apr 5, 2006
How about a date?

nature's candy!I’m fascinated by the history of various foods. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about about dates…

The date palm, Phoenix dactylifera,  produces a remarkable fruit—the date. These sweet little gems have been cultivated for so long that it’s difficult to trace their origins. Depending on their sugar content, dates are classifed into one of three categories: soft, semi-dry and dry.

If you’ve never tried one of the soft types, such as a Medjool, you don’t know what you’re missing. They’re generally large, plump, soft and the perfect sweetness (sweet but not too)—a real treat.

For some great information regarding dates, check out Wikipedia’s site. It’ll tell you just about anything you might want to know about nature’s candy. Some of the things I found to be most interesting include:


  • Date cultivation (they’re pollinated by hand!!)


  • Non-food uses of date palms


  • Medicinal uses of dates


  • The various types of dates—31 are listed and those are just the popular varieties.


I also love to cook with dates. Here’s a few ideas so you can embark on your own date-filled culinary journey:

  • A few chopped dates taste great when added to sauteed vegetables. Add a few pistachio nuts and it’ll give your veggies a distinct middle eastern twist.


  • Cut medjool dates into halves and put some nut butter on them for a delicious, sweet snack.


  • Blend them with bananas, cocoa powder, a milk beverage (soy, dairy, rice), and a bit of vanilla extract for a delicious chocolate shake. 


  • There’s a neat product made by Aunt Patty’s called date sugar that you can use to replace regular sugar in baked products. wanna date?

You can also use dates as a clever way to send messages to your sweetie…

Got any date-y ideas of your own? I’d love to hear ‘em.

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