First of all, please excuse my not-so-modelesque hands. I love my hands. I have always had short nails, cuts, bruises, scars and bumps. This reminds me that I am constantly doing things, touching things and creating things. It shows that I am a true cook, scrubbing vegetables, kneeding dough, washing dishes (tons and tons of dishes). I have never had strong fingernails. My fingernails used to be so weak that they could barely grow enough to protect me. About 3 months ago, when I embarked on my journey to Europe, my fingers started growing fast, thick and strong. My white “calcium” dots disappeared and my nails no longer broke everytime I went to wash my hair. I could not tell you how or why this happened but it must have been some sort of drastic change in my lifestyle and/or environment. It may be the fact that I began introducing superfoods into my diet all last year, it could be that I gave up meat or it could be because I have began using all-natural beauty products on my skin, like coconut oil. Either way, I am so so happy they are strong- this is a sign that I am healthy!
Now onto dates…
Dates are nature’s candy. To be honest, I never really liked dates. It wasn’t until I became a big foodie that I realized dates were nature’s gift to mankind. I learned they could be used as a natural sweetener, a thickener, eaten in curry or salad dishes or just eaten plain! It wasn’t until I bit into my first medjool date that I fell in love. Sure, the little deglet noor dates are yummy, but medjool dates are on a whole other level.
I want you to fall in love with dates…just like I did.
I truly believe that you have to try something at least 10 times to know if you like it or not. Our taste buds are constantly renewing/changing, so think about that next time someone offers you a food you don’t like! I am living proof of this. 2 years ago, I hated dates. Just over 3 months ago, I despised beets. I thought they tasted like dirt, but I forced myself to try them anyways because of their amazing health benefits (that is, only mixed into salads masked in dressings). Now I couldn’t live without dates or red beets. There are so many foods I am learning to love- it’s fantastic!
There are so many ways to incorporate dates into your diet. Of course, biting into a juicy medjool date is the best way to get the most flavour and caramel-y satisfaction, but you can also throw dates into smoothies, chop them up into salads or use them as a base for vegan baking. They work wonders in my Chocolate Coconut Bliss Balls (even if you don’t like the taste), in any of my smoothies, or my granola recipes. I love to bite into them after curry dishes to even out the spice or chop them up and mix them in with my morning oats.
Health Benefits of Dates
Dates contain impressive levels of iron, so snack on these if you are iron deficient or during your period (ladies). Dates have properties that keep seasonal allergies at bay, help relieve constipation and are traditionally used to increase labido! Dates are also the perfect little energy booster. Before a workout, I like to munch on a couple of dates because of their high fructose levels and high-calorie content. Many long-distance bike riders have been known to snack on dates during their rides/races. Overall, dates taste amazing and they’re so so good for you, so you should probably have a date ;)
– high in iron, fibre, potassium, vitamin B6
– reduce seasonal allergic reactions
– have anti-inflammatory properties
– help regulate the digestive system
– increase sexual drive
– energy booster
– overall beneficial for your body and maintaining a healthy weight
A recipe you can try at home:
1/2 cup of pitted medjool dates
2 cups of coconut or almond milk
1/2 cup of water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
Soak the dates in water overnight. Blend all ingredients together and pour into a sauce pan. Heat on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
See you next time! I’ve got a date…with my date!