Medhjool dates are commonly referred to as king of dates. Large, juicy and packed with flavour and nutrition. Medhjool dates are a staple food in many countries. Commonly referred to as king of dates because of their size and texture, they are highly regarded especially in the Middle East and North Africa where they are believed to have originated. Though there are various varieties of dates, medhjool dates are considered soft, while there are others which are either dry or semi-dry; this depending on texture and taste. Medhjool dates are nutritious and healthy with innumerable health benefits.
While dates don't appear to be particularly special with their wrinkled, brown exterior, they're satisfyingly chewy and a flavorful treat packed with nutrition and very high in fibre. Undoubtedly a favorite since the Garden of Eden, dates are considered a drupe because they contain a single pit or stone at the center.
Date palms, which produce these little beauties, were brought to America's Western coast by Spanish missionaries in the late 1700s. Medhjool dates, which originated in Morocco, were introduced in the U.S. in 1927 and then grown in Southern California. Reportedly the most labor intensive to grow and harvest, medhjool are not only one of the most delicious varieties, they are the only one that can be picked and eaten fresh.
Date palms begin to bear fruit at three to five years, and are fully mature at 12 years. Cultivated in arid regions of the world, wild populations can still be found around Jordan and the border between Iran and Iraq.
Medhjool dates are great foods to control addiction for sweet foods. Their high fiber content keeps you full for long hence curbing the cravings. It also aids in keeping a healthy digestive system, hanks to loads of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre and plenty of amino acids. Additionally, it helps in dealing with irritable bowel and constipation. Medhjool dates have a great amount of dietary fiber, supplying you with 27% of the recommended daily allowance. Their soluble fiber is important in regulation of blood sugar as well as levels of cholesterol. Notably, the beta-D-glucan in Medhjool dates aids in water absorption hence adding bulk to stool. This prevents constipation.
When it comes to the number of minerals, vitamins, and health-benefiting phytonutrients in dates, Medhjools have a lot! First and foremost, they're easily digested, allowing your body to make full use of their goodness.
Dietary fiber in dates helps to move waste smoothly through your colon and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol absorption by binding with substances containing cancer-causing chemicals. The have a high iron content, which is an important component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, and determines the balance of oxygen in the blood. They also contain Potassium, which is an electrolyte which helps control your heart rate and blood pressure. The B Vitamins contained in dates, such as the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, absorb into the retina to maintain optimal light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration. They also contain vitamins A and K. Vitamin A protects the eyes and maintains healthy skin.
Wow, they taste great and have so many health benefits. So how do you use them?
Firstly they are a perfect “on the go” snack. If you’ve got a busy day ahead a trail mix of dates and almonds will keep you going for hours! They taste great in smoothies when you want to add sweetness and also make them more filling and increase the fibre content.
Raw food recipes use dates so often, they really are a raw food staple when it comes to making recipes. Medhjool especially as they are so soft rich and sweet they can be soaked and made into a date paste, caramel sauce and cake fillings and crusts.
They can be added to nut milk or normal milk and blended along with vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamon to make a beautiful nourishing Ayurvedic night time treat. Used widely in many traditional sweet dishes and cake mixes, they are also delicious in savory dishes like a Moroccan tagine. Dates are your sweet, delicious and versatile friend!