I recently became reacquainted with an old friend from my childhood. This friend was both incredibly sweet, sometimes a little nutty, and always presented itself well… especially at church potlucks and dinner parties.
I am talking about dates, the fruit of the date palm tree that has been a staple of the Middle East for thousands of years.
Since we grew up without eating sugar or processed foods, my mother would always prepare dates as her dessert contribution to church potlucks or dinner parties. She would buy a package of common pitted dates from the grocery store, slice them open, fill them with creamy peanut butter, and then sprinkle the peanut butter with shredded coconut. I highly recommend you try that yourself. It’s a perfect little treat – sweet with a shot of protein. Yum!
Now I buy the Medjool dates. These are large, sweet, and succulent dates. You can purchase them individually or prepackaged. So far the ones I have found all have the pits inside. Medjool dates are great because they aren’t sticky, which makes them easy to eat by themselves or prepare the peanut butter/coconut option I mentioned.
Where can you purchase Medjool dates in NWA?
> Cooks Natural Foods for $6.99 for one pound in the produce section. The benefit of buying at Cooks is that you can pick as much or as little as you want. Picking the dates individually is perfect for experimenting the first time. Cooks is located in downtown Rogers on W. Walnut Road.
> The Pinnacle Station Local Market in Rogers for $8.99 for one pound in the refrigerated produce section. Yes, these are more expensive than Cooks but the location may be easier for you to get to, especially if you just want to do a taste test. It wouldn’t be my first choice because sometimes these look like that have freezer burn. Since these are individuals, it is easy to pick through and find the ones you want. The Pinnacle Station Market is located on the corner of Promenade Blvd. and New Hope Road.
> Sams Club in Bentonville or Fayetteville for $8.48 for two pounds in the produce section. This is a great deal and the date’s appearance is consistent. This is a great route to go once you discover your own love for dates!
Dates also make a great alternative to candy bars if you are running around and want something sweet… and good for you. Check out my friend Nikki Crenshaw’s personal training blog for this and other healthy eating treats! Thanks Nikki!