Double Date: Tips for Revising Your Favorite Recipes with Dates

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Today, Americans face two major problems relating to their diet.  Currently, 80% of Americans do not get the recommended daily serving of fruit.  Secondly, we are consuming of added sugars each day.  This combination of not eating enough of what is healthy and eating too many empty calories results in various health complications.

In order to satisfy the recommended amount of fruit, Americans need to double their current fruit consumption.  While we need to increase fruit consumption, we also need to drastically cut down the amount of added sugars we consume.

Incorporating dates into your diet easily solves both of these problems.  By using dates to sweeten fruit, you can cut down added sugars while also doubling your fruit intake.  So take a chance, and let those fruits that are your favorites double date!

Why dates? 

Double dating not only adds an extra serving of fruit to your daily diet, it also contributes sweetness to any dish.  This, in turn, allows you to enrich dishes with flavor and nutrition while putting an end to the overwhelming amount of added sugars present in many diets.

By replacing sugar with the rich flavor of dates, you can eliminate unnecessary and harmful added sugars from your diet.  Added sugars are typically sugar substances that are included in foods and beverages in addition to the regular ingredients.   They are considered “empty calories” and have no nutrition benefits.

Although dates are delicious when single, they have the unique property of adopting the flavor of whatever fruit they happen to date.  However, they also contribute their own personality to the relationship by contributing a rich caramelized flavor to the fresh taste of the fruit.

Double dating

Apples

Apples are the quintessential American fruit and make an excellent pairing with the rich flavor of dates.

For example, when making apple pie, simply swap the sugar you would use in the pie filling for the same proportion of chopped dates.  By doing this, the added sugar is completely replaced by dates, an additional fruit.  The great thing is, by using dates as opposed to a sugar substitute, you maintain the rich flavor of a traditional apple pie recipe with the caramel flavor of dates.

Bananas

If bananas are your favorite fruit, try double dating by including dates in your bananas foster recipe.  For this addition, it is recommended that you chop your dates before adding them to the sauté pan.  Instead of using brown sugar, the dates maintain the caramelized flavor.

Pineapple

During the holidays, pineapple upside down cake is frequently seen on tables across the country.  Known for the combination of the tangy fruit flavor of pineapple and the caramel flavor of brown sugar, it seems a natural step to include dates in this classic recipe.

Once again, replace the recommended amount of brown sugar with the same amount of dates (chopped) and add them to your recipe for a delicious and healthy alternative.

Coconut

During summer, who doesn’t love a refreshing piña colada?  Although the well-known piña colada beverage is full of calories and added sugar, there is a healthy alternative using dates.

Try throwing some coconut juice with fat free yogurt, ice, and chopped dates for a delicious piña colada smoothie.  The dates will satisfy your sweet tooth, while icy smoothie rescues you from the hot summer days.

The benefits of double dating are boundless.  Any fruit can be combined with dates to create an appetizing dish that helps double your fruit servings.

Next time your sweet tooth calls, try out your favorite double date combination!

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