dates dates Dates are a fun fixture for entertaining and can be served in a number of ways, including stuffed, wrapped and as a simple snack. (Photo: Igor Normann / Shutterstock)

6 wonderful ways to incorporate dates into your diet

These sweet, wrinkly little fruits are packed with serious sweetness and a host of health benefits.

Aside from having the ability to wear their wrinkles exceptionally well, dates are among the most nutritious, versatile fruits in existence. This palm fruit has long been a staple of the Mediterranean region and is known for its sweet, chewy character and a host of health benefits – it's high in potassium and has a low glycemic index (read on, diabetics!). As such, dates make a swell snack on their own, but they're also fabulous when stuffed, wrapped or dipped. Yes, with little effort, these bite-size morsels of sweetness can turn into the most brilliant hors d'oeuvres at the party. Want to know how? Here are six wonderful ways to eat dates, brought to you in part by our Israeli Kitchen.

Stuffed with cream cheese

dates stuffed with cream cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegarA drizzle of balsamic vinegar tops off these stuffed dates perfectly. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

Some people have an insatiable sweet tooth. Others, like food blogger and vegetarian chef Jerry James Stone, prefer their food to include just the right amount of sweetness without being too over-the-top sugary. To that end, this stunning date recipe truly delivers.

Read our Israeli Kitchen recipe here.


Wrapped in bacon

bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheeseEverything's better with bacon. These dates are no exception. (Photo: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock)

If there's a thing out there that isn't vastly improved by adding bacon to it, we haven't met it yet. These bacon-wrapped dates are the perfect contribution to a potluck, or just as a fun mid-afternoon snack to ward off the inevitable slump.

Recipe from the Pinch of Yum blog here.


Turned into fudge

date fudge with chocolate chipsWhether you eat it plain or topped with mini dark chocolate chips, this date fudge is the perfect amount of sweet. (Photo: Anna Norris)

Girl Scout cookie season is long over. The holidays are (thankfully) still months away. But you've got a hankerin' for cookies, and it's a doozy. Well, we've got something better: date fudge! This is one of those recipes that uses dates not as a stuffing or wrapping vehicle, but as a sweetener. Simply use a food processor to turn dates into a paste, and you've got a highly useful and healthful sugar substitute that won't undo your diet.

Read our Israeli Kitchen recipe here.


Baked into muffins

date muffinsHave you ever cooked with dates? These mini muffins are a great way to start. (Photo: Elena Demyanko/Shutterstock)

We'll let you in on a little secret: We're not the only ones who've discovered the magic and possibilities of using dates as a sweetener. Turns out your local grocery store has probably gotten the memo, too. So next time you're thinking about making muffins, add date syrup (also known as silan) to your grocery list, and pick up a jar. It's found a suitable home here in these date mini muffins, but the uses for this stuff are virtually endless.

Read our Israeli Kitchen recipe here. You can also use dates for a scrumptious cake, as seen here.


Blended into juice

Pomegranate-date smoothieThis pomegranate-date drink looks delicious. (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

If you haven't discovered the wonders of pomegranates or pomegranate juice, this simple cocktail will make you a believer for sure. And so will this news: According to recent research from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the juice from the jewel-like red seeds of a pomegranate, blended with sweet, fleshy dates, creates a juice drink that can significantly reduce cholesterol buildup in your arteries and keep you heart-healthy. So here's to good health in a glass!

Our Israeli Kitchen instructions are here.


Rolled into candy

Date nut balls with coconut Cashew date balls with coconut flakes (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Here we have another installment of "sweet confections that keep your diet – and waistline – intact." These cashew date balls look like something you'd find at your neighborhood candy shop, but unlike traditional candy, you can pop these babies guilt-free, because there's no added sugar other than the natural fructose from the dates and coconut.

Read our Israeli Kitchen recipe here.

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