Medjool dates, one of the most popular date varieties, are often considered as the “King of dates”. Indigenous to the Middle East and North African regions, this fruit has also become a common replacement for regular sugar when it comes to everyday cooking. These sticky toffee flavored treats aren’t just delectable to snack on, but also a superfood, loaded with endless health benefits!
Origin of Medjool Dates
Dates, also known as the “Bread of the Desert”, got their name due to the date trees’ ability to grow in the desert and serve as the perfect source of food to the travelers, providing them with sustained energy. Date fruit is also referred to as ‘The Fruit of Paradise’ in Islamic tradition and an essential on the Iftar table during Ramadan due to their ability to provide a good amount of energy after a full day of Fasting.
“Medjool” is a variety of the date fruit which boasts a rich history dating back to 50 million years as the oldest plant cultivated according to forensics. The title, “King of the dates” also becomes more relevant in this context as Medjool date is possibly one of the oldest varieties to be consumed as food.
In Greek mythology, the date fruit was known as the ‘Immortal Phoenix’, due to the bird that would build its nest on top of the date palm. Unfortunately, the bird would catch fire due to the scorching rays of sun and be reborn out of its own ashes. The date fruit tree, too, is said to have been reborn each time along with the bird.
Cultivating Medjool Dates
Medjool Dates are normally grown in warmer regions and their trees can take up to 7 years to start sprouting fruits. The harvesting process is very labor intensive considering the fruit needs to be tended 12-15 times a year before harvesting as not all dates ripen simultaneously. The dates are wrapped with nylon to protect them from birds, rain and insects. Medjool dates are dried, not dehydrated which intensifies the natural sugars present within.
These date palms have been the distinctive features of the Middle East, stretching miles upon miles of deserted land. The fruit has also been an important part of Moroccan cuisine and was reserved for only royalty in the past. These date palms were introduced to the west when the “bayoud disease” wiped out almost the entire population of these palm trees in Morocco. Hence, to save them from extinction, eleven date palms were sent to the United States. Ever since then, Medjool dates have risen to popularity in the west as a healthier option for satisfying sweet tooth as they are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients.
What do Medjool Dates taste like?
Medjool dates are known for their larger size and natural sweetness, as characterized by their darker color. This sticky, sweet treat delivers a slow release of sweetness overtime the more you chew on it, which could only be compared to a molten caramel filled chewy candy. But the best part is that this fruit is packed with nutrients and could be a great way to wean kids off of sugar-loaded snacks by introducing them to this healthy alternative as a quick fix to their sweet tooth.
You can also enjoy these treats as a meal. Here are a few ways for you to enjoy medjool dates:
- Stuffed Medjool dates: Stuff these dates with your favorite nuts, spreads or other condiments. You can also have them sweet or add a savory twist for the perfect salty-sweet combo.
- Medjool Date Syrup: A lot of people also use dates to make date syrup to eat along with pancakes or other foods.
- Fudgy Medjool date brownies: Got a massive sweet tooth? You could also turn these into some delectable fudgy brownies.
- Medjool Date fruit drink: Add these dates to your milkshake or smoothies for a hint of sweetness and a ton of nutritional value.
- Medjool Date salad: These dates could be added to your everyday salad to boost up its nutritional value and add to the flavor.
We recommend you try our Premium Quality Medjool dates. They are handpicked and packaged in Palestine, then later delivered all over the UK. They can be stored at room temperature or in a fridge, or frozen in the refrigerator for up to 12 months.
How much Medjool Dates to consume?
The recommended serving size of Medjool dates, as per the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate.gov, is ½ cup or 100 grams. Although, most people prefer eating a handful of dates per day.
Reasons to Enjoy These Dates
The benefits of munching down on this fruit are endless but here’s a few:
These dates are rich in fiber, potassium, and multiple other nutrients and minerals. A 100gm serving of medjool dates can provide important nutrients such as 20% of the daily recommended allowance of potassium, 14% of protein, 18% of copper, 15% of manganese, 5% of iron, and 12% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6.
Improves Insulin sensitivity:
Medjool dates also rank low on the glycemic index because of the fiber present which slows down the release of carbs and gives you sustained energy. This makes it ideal for individuals suffering with high cholesterol and diabetes.
Benefits for Pregnant Women:The date fruit is also beneficial for women who are pregnant. The fiber content in dates help support healthy bowel movement and relieve constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy. Date fruit can also help with the development of muscle tissue and muscle cells, meanwhile providing energy that can be used by the weakened body to revitalize itself.
Medjool dates also help supplement the dropping levels of potassium caused by morning sickness. In addition, vitamin B can help avoid birth defects in children and iron helps prevent the chances of having a preterm baby that can lead to many complications later on.
The benefits of consuming dates while pregnant are also quoted in religious texts, where Hazrat Maryam (A.S) was advised by Allah S.W.T to rest under a date palm and to consume a lot of dates and fresh water from the stream since she had to give birth to baby Jesus without a midwife’s assistance.
Dates have been around for thousands of years as a staple food and will probably stay here for a thousand more. Browse through our collection of Medjool Dates to get the perfect pack of dates for you. We recommend getting a size bigger than you think you need. These dates are incredibly tempting and you will be left craving for more!