The Queen of the DatesMedjool dates are my very favorite sweet treat. I will never forget the first time that I saw a bunch of freshly harvested medjool dates at the Santa Barbara farmer’s market. It was gorgeous and the fruit was soft & delectable. Prior to that experience, I had only had dried versions of dates. Medjool dates are DIFFERENT because they are a fresh fruit. They grow on the date palm and are harvested, cleaned, sorted and packaged right away. They do not go thru a drying process like other dates do. This varietal is considered the ultimate delicacy for its rich taste, texture and size. Medjools are soft and sweet with a caramel flavor and velvety texture.
History of the Medjool DateDates are one of the oldest known cultivated fruits. They have been cultivated for about 6000 years in the Middle East and have been grown in California since the 18th century. The majority of dates grown in California are in the Coachella Valley. However, the medjool date wasn’t introduced to California until the 1920’s when an American horticulturist brought 11 medjool starts from Morocco. Medjool dates were originally grown in Morocco for royalty and there had been a disease that was destroying the crop. Because of this, diversifying the geography of the cultivation area helped to preserve this variety.
Fun Facts About Medjool DatesGrowing Medjool dates is a labor intensive process because it takes about seven years for a tree to start producing fruit. The fruits grow in large clusters, changing in color, texture, and flavor while on the tree. California Date farmers begin harvesting Medjool dates in September. Medjool dates are delicious and nutritious. Two Medjool dates have 33 grams of carbohydrates (in the form of fruit sugar) and provides 15 percent of your d ietary fiber. The fruit is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) thanks to natural plant fiber, which helps slow down sugar absorption into the body. This results in a steady source of energy, with no crash.
Date, Ginger, and Cinnamon Vegan Milk Shake
This creamy sweet treat is the perfect dessert. Sweet and creamy with a little bit of heat. Makes two shakes so it’s perfect to share!
¼ cup cup walnuts
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup Medjool dates, pitted
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup vanilla oat milk ice cream
PreparationStep 1 Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened in color and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool. Step 2 Meanwhile, place dates in a small bowl and add ½ cup hot water to cover; soak 10 minutes to soften. Step 3 Blend walnuts, dates with their soaking liquid, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a blender until a coarse paste forms. Add ice cream and ¾ cup cracked ice and blend until smooth. Divide shake between 2 glasses & top with Ocean Ranch Organic Cinnamon Grainless Granola.
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