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Our Favorite Way to Eat Dates

Our favorite way to eat dates is as they are, right off the palm, or with a quick rinse to remove desert dust. Have a plate or bowl of chilled dates in the fridge or on the table, ready for snacking, or to add to hot or cold cereal. Embellish with a dab of cream cheese or sour cream on your English muffin; or add to a bowl of yogurt (with a sprinkle of granola or wheat germ for topping).

We use yogurt and dates in the blender for date shakes (plain, vanilla, pineapple, banana – all good with dates); or use ice-cream or dairy substitute ( a brochure on date shake recipes is available). Add a little water and cook into a sugar-free jam.

Stuffed dates make an elegant and unique dessert plate. Remove the pit and add a nut (pecan, walnut, almond, even peanut butter). Medjhools are perfect for this, can be served “on the half shell” – for coffee breaks or socials, birthdays or funerals, pot lucks or parties. – a healthy and delicious treat, always appropriate. Dates are a good source of fiber, with no fat or cholesterol; high in potassium and iron, a quick energy food with only 20-25 calories per date.

DATE PIE: Beat 2 eggs and gradually beat in ¾ cup brown sugar, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla. Fold in 1 cup dates (diced, or cooked into jam) and cup of sour cream. Pour in 9” pastry shell. Bake in hot oven (450) for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350 for 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center of the pie comes out clean. Decorate with whipped cream and half dates. (More recipes available from Pato’s, 60-499 Hwy. 86, Thermal, CA 92274).

For more delicious date recipes, go to the Califonia Date Administrative Committee's website at www.datesaregreat.com.

Email Pato at PATOZDRM@aol.com