Dates are a type of fruit, specifically a drupe, grown on date palm trees. The cultivation of dates as food began in the Middle East approximately 6,000 years ago, though records show the fruit was enjoyed about 8,000 years ago.
Dates are thought of more often during the holidays…however while in Palm Springs we visited a local art fare and farmers market. I bought some Medjool dates from a vendor who produces dates in Coachella.
California is known for the production of Palm Dates; here are a few things about dates I have discovered.
Despite their sweetness, medjool dates only contain about 66 calories each. Dates are a good source of fiber and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. They do have a significant amount of fruit sugar, but this can make them a perfect alternative to other forms of dessert.
I have stuffed dates as an appetizer for the holiday season, this time I decided to stuff them for a delectable little Spring time treat…the saltiness from the cheese and the nutty macadamia pairs well with the sweetness of the Medjool.
Medjool Dates with Feta and Toasted Macadamias
By The Gourmet Farm Girl
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1/2 pound Medjool Dates (10-12 dates)
4-5 ounces Feta cheese crumbles
2-3 tablespoons macadamia nuts (chopped)
With a small sharp knife cut open the date and remove the pit. Stuff each date with as much feta it will hold. Top with a few pieces of macadamia nuts and place on a cookie sheet; bake for 3-4 minutes till just warm and nuts are slightly toasted. Serve immediately