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Fruit of the Month: Medjool Dates

medjool date energy bals

Medjool dates are a prized variety of the date family, and for good reason. With every bite, Medjool’s deliver natural flavors of caramel and butterscotch, making them a perfect snack to satisfy your sweet tooth. Did we mention they’re packed with vitamins and minerals too? Win, Win!

Origin Story

Medjool dates are somewhat famous in the fruit world (and for good reason!) They have many nicknames, including the ‘King of Dates,’ and ‘The Fruit of Paradise’ – they are highly regarded for their taste and nutritional value. With a history dating back millions of years, the Medjool variety is one of the first documented, and consumed, fruits – in fact, it is considered the oldest cultivated fruit!

The exact origins of the Medjool Date are unknown, but there are most commonly grown in Morocco. They were quickly spread to many areas within the Middle East, as well as Northern Africa, and they swiftly became a staple to the diets of many. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that date trees were introduced to the United States. In fact, the introduction of the date tree was a vital decision as the health of the trees were declining in Morocco. The American explorers, employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, brought back large offshoots of the Medjool trees and planted them in California’s Coachella Valley. Six of these trees still stand today, and they are known as ‘The Big Six’ as they are significantly taller than the other date trees in the Valley.

Medjool trees are tricky to commercially cultivate. You typically cannot plant a seed and expect the date palm to grow – they grow most successfully by planting offshoots of other date palms. They also love weather above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, a soil PH of at least 7, and minimal wind. It will also take about seven years until the tree sprouts fruits. Talk about a high maintenance fruit! Thankfully, California has the perfect conditions for growing these beauties.

Nutrients & Health Benefits

Medjool’s are small but mighty. Bursting with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, dates are one superfood we highly recommend stocking up on. In just one serving of dates (3 pieces), you get 380mg of Potassium, and 30mg of Calcium – hello, immune support! Medjool dates also contain some of the highest concentrations of polyphenols among other dried fruits; these polyphenols can help fight inflammation.

Medjool dates are often used as a sweetener in baking, cooking, and in smoothies, but do you know why? No, it’s not just because they are luscious and flavorsome (shocking, we know.) Medjool dates are considered a ‘low-glycemic sugar alternative,’ meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as other sugars, such as cane sugar. This makes for a more stable blood sugar over time, and less of a sugar crash after eating sweets – win, win! In fact, Medjool’s have such a high concentration of natural sugars within that they will sometimes crystalize on the outside of the fruit, also known as ‘sugaring.’ So, next time you see a Medjool with some crystals on the outside, just know you are in for an extra sweet treat! 

Doing Well By Doing Good

People often ask us, “why are you so passionate about organic farming practices?” and although we could talk about this all day, to make a long story short, it’s because we are Powered By Good Intentions. We want our products to be free from chemicals and preservatives that can harm people, waterways, and the planet. We want our products to promote ecological balance, not strip the soil of its nutrients. We are so passionate about doing well by the people and the planet that we never settle for less, especially with our Medjool Dates. Are they strictly organically grown? You bet. Free of Sulphur and other artificial preservatives? Of course. Grown with our consumers health in mind? You know it. You have our word that our Medjool Dates are, and will always be, organic and delicious.

 

How to Use Medjool Dates

Medjool dates can be eaten at any time of the day. They make a flavorsome addition to smoothies, a yummy after-dinner treat, and even an energy-packed hiking snack. Not sure how to add more dates to your diet? No worries, we got you! If you are looking to add dates to your breakfast, try slicing them into quarters and adding them to the top of your morning cereal or yogurt bowls. If you want to add dates to your snacking routine, stuff them with your favorite cheeses and nuts for a protein-packed snack. And, if you’re anything like us, you want to use dates to satisfy your sweet tooth. For a dessert-style date, stuff the dates with peanut butter, drizzle with melted dark chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt, and freeze for 2 hours – you can thank us later.

Still not sure how to add these sweet, tender fruits to your diet? Try out the below recipe for Medjool Date Energy Balls (a certified crowd pleaser.)

Featured Recipe: Medjool Date Energy Balls

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Organic Made In Nature Medjool Dates
  • 1 cup nuts of choice (we prefer almonds or cashews)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions:
  1. Place your Medjool dates in a bowl of warm water and let sit for 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. While the Medjools are softening, place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Drain the dates, remove the pits, and add them to the food processor. Blend for 20 seconds, then add in the cocoa powder, almonds butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until combined.
  4. Scoop out the mixture using a tablespoon. Roll them into balls using your hands, and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for at least one hour (until firm.) Move them to an airtight container and enjoy!
References:
  • Awan, M. N. (2022, January 12). Medjool: The king of dates. Holy Land Dates. https://www.holylanddates.co.uk/blogs/blogs/medjool-dates-the-king-of-dates
  • Granero, K. (2023, January 9). 6 ways medjool dates can make you healthier. Real Simple. https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/healthy-eating/medjool-dates-health-benefits-recipes
  • Puisis, E. (2022, August 19). How to grow and care for date palm trees. The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/growing-date-palm-trees-5093786
  • The Kitchen Sisters and Lisa Morehouse. (2014, June 10). Forbidding fruit: How America got turned on to the date. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/06/10/320346869/forbidding-fruit-how-america-got-turned-on-to-the-date