Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday’s Helping: Date Fruit

Concentrated sweetness, naturally

Try the fruit from the phoenix dactylifera, or date palm, and you’ll taste a morsel that’s all-natural and super sweet. Date fruit, like honey and raisins, are one of nature’s sugary gems. Look for their dark-reddish brown and wrinkled skin with a waxy coating. The fruits grow in clusters just right under the palm’s sprawling leaves. The date palm’s fruit aka dates have an oval shape and usually average 1 ½ inches long. The plant originated in the Mediterranean region where it has been cultivated for centuries. Select dates that are plump and have a uniform color. Avoid dates that appear dried out or have crystals on the outside. Dates are a good source of fiber, calcium and copper.

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