Friday "Date" Night {A Sweet Food Fight Friday} 😉

in fff •  4 months ago 

Hey there my food-loving pals! Between #fruitsandveggiesmonday turning two, and #fff hitting the year mark, there's lots to celebrate in the Steem food world! Though Fridays tend to get a bit busy, I couldn't miss jumping in to the action for another @foodfightfriday match. I can also pop by my gal @dswigle's #marketfriday with this entry for a little double duty type post that I like employing so much. Can't blame a girl for working with the little bit of free time she's got!

IMG_20190731_171733017.jpg

Now you might be thinking from my title that I'd be sharing a restaurant meal with @dksart, but perhaps my cover photo threw you for a loop a bit. I know, I know @dandays, this wasn't the prettiest cover photo I've ever chosen. However, I wanted to reel you in and make you at least click to see where I'm going with this. Perhaps this next shot will give you a hint (shhh @puravidaville don't ruin the surprise yet)...

IMG_20190731_172344442.jpg

Dates! Lots and lots of dates!

IMG_20190731_172818760.jpg

20 pounds of them to be exact. My fruits and veggies peeps know how much I love these sweet, fruity gems. I most often just eat them as a snack as is, but they are also fantastic to use in recipes as a healthier sugar replacement. My pal @lizelle is getting really awesome at using them in her recipe remakes! Around here you can really only find Medjool (my favorite up to this point) and Deglet Noor varieties, but I had been researching different options for a while. The hub of production in the US is the Coachella Valley of California due to suitable growing conditions for date palms. After starting to look directly at some of the growers' websites, I realized just how many different varieties there are! I was so excited to get to order and try some new options.

IMG_20190731_172631238.jpg

There are quite a few different sites that you can purchase from, but I opted to check out Oasis Date Gardens first. The ranch was founded in 1912 with a really neat family history. Check out their site for more information if you'd like to read about it. They also have descriptions of all the different kinds of dates that they grow. I actually found it fascinating to read more about the growing process, as well. They hand pollinate the trees, and also have to cover the fruit in bags while it is maturing so that bugs and other pests don't get to it. Then each crop is hand-picked, as well. No wonder they aren't cheap!

IMG_20190731_173348973.jpg

In case that doesn't impress you enough, dates are extremely healthy to incorporate into a well-rounded diet. I actually almost used them as a topic for my @naturalmedicine contest entry for the Food as Medicine challenge, but I didn't have my mega haul in yet. Besides being a great refined sugar substitute, dates are full of fiber like so many other whole fruits. The fiber and other nutrients means your body can better process that natural sugar than say refined white cane sugar. Along with the fiber, magnesium is in ample supply. I tend to have issues at times with low magnesium stores, which is one of the reasons why I always have dates in the house. A deficiency in the mineral can lead to insomnia, muscle cramps or twitches (my mom suffers from restless leg syndrome at times which is pretty uncomfortable), fatigue and even high blood pressure. Dates also contain good amounts of potassium (take that bananas) and calcium, which help me with recovery from my runs and workouts. I would much rather take a bag with a few of these with me on long runs than some sticky goo in a package.

For whatever reason, these little guys just make my heart happy, as well. I am trying to curb my spending habits and try to continually improve the sustainability of my choices, so when I do splurge on something I want it to really be worth it. These definitely fit the bill as they were much more affordable than most organic dates in the stores here, and buying in bulk means much less packaging and waste. There's just something awesome about knowing my freezer is full of these and the other local fruit we picked this summer. I am one happy fruit lover right now!

So what varieties did I opt for?

IMG_20190731_172926897.jpg

Barhi might just be my new favorite! Holy moly these ones are creamy, rich and delicious! At first bite they seem to be similar to Medjool, but then a burst of caramel flavor comes oozing out as you start to chew. These are really soft, so they will most likely be best enjoyed straight from the box for a healthy treat, or I may also make date caramel to drizzle over literally everything as I can see it coming out really similar to traditional caramel with that killer flavor. I'm not mad at all that I have 10 pounds of these to go through. Why such a big box? They were having a deal too good to pass up on the larger boxes as they will be getting in to the new harvest in just a few months. The good thing is dates last for quite a long time in the refrigerator, and even longer in the freezer so none of these will go to waste.

IMG_20190731_172919588.jpg

My second choice was the Golden Zahidi variety. I knew the others would be pretty soft, so I wanted a firmer type to be able to work with in things like energy bites and granola bars. These will definitely hold up for some cooked preparations, though the flavor is quite delicious, as well. These are more similar to the Deglet Noor I've had in the past, though much better than the packaged ones from the grocery store! @dksart tried to tell me they all taste the same, but I can assure you they all have their slight nuances that make it a lot of fun to taste and hopefully even more fun to work with in the kitchen.

I've already frozen half of each box, but I'm planning on figuring out how to use some of these this weekend. Some will be going right into my bliss balls that I'm making for my nutrition event at work tomorrow! I'll definitely be sharing that recipe and a recap of the event afterwards. Always a fun time to share my love of good food with good people--either in person or here online! 😉

Hope you all have a fantastic (and delicious) weekend!

PHC-Footer-05.gif



Banners by @zord189, @woman-onthe-wing, @dksart and @bearone for @steemusa


Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

🎁 Hi @plantstoplanks! You have received 0.2 STEEM tip from @dswigle!

Check out @dswigle blog here and follow if you like the content :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

  ·  4 months ago (edited)

Oh my word, that's a whole lot of gorgeous and luscious dates! I'm so glad you pointed out that one can use them as a sweetener in some recipes as it absolutely satisfies my sweet tooth! Fresh Medjool dates were available recently, comes from Namibia which is on the North Western border of our country, they were amazing! Cannot wait to see all the treats you're going to make with these ;)

Oh yum! I can only imagine how delicious those were! These really are quite heavenly. Just another example of how much better products are when you are lucky enough to get them straight from the source! I've got my mind working in overdrive, so hopefully I'll have the time to get in the kitchen soon. :)

Oh what a delightful delivery!

Sweet tooth satisfaction in a box!

Absolutely! Now I just have to be good to ration them out and not survive on dates alone for the next little while. ;)

Wow, I am sooo excited. I'll be placing an order today, these look beautiful. I didn't know you could freeze them, that really helps when ordering in bulk. I used to have restless leg when I ran long distance, didn't even think about dates. Good to know @plantstoplanks. Great post!!!

Yay! I know you will enjoy making your selections as much as I did. You'll have to share what you order! I'll be curious how the freezing impacts the texture at all, but I think they should hold up much better than most fruits in the thawing process. My mom has bouts of insomnia, restless leg and high blood pressure, so magnesium is something I've looked at a good bit. I will occasionally supplement if I get a bad stretch of insomnia, but much prefer consuming it in whole foods-especially ones this delicious!

I must admit I am not a date fan unless you mean a night out with my better half. I am listening to you on the nutritional goodness though.

This weekend, I am going to set aside the work and sit down to get @mianda plugged in with @partiko and @actifit and following you so you are on her feed. Business sure makes for some class-a procrastination.

Happy Friday!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Haha, I'll take both forms of dates. ;) I don't think I liked them when I first tried the Deglet Noor (most likely just the mass-packaged grocery brand), but I fell in love with Medjools when I came across them. Now having these has renewed my obsession even more.

I can't wait to see what @mianda shares! I'll make sure some of the other veg folks like @thekitchenfairy and @lenasveganliving welcome her when she gets going, too!

am a veeerrrrryyy lazy person as you know :P not even actifiting daily :P

and I loveeeeeeee dates, growing up as a Moslem, I ate them long before they are famous for vegans hahaha

Haha, get moving mama! ;) They really have been around forever! Such history in that little fruit. I'm glad they've become all the rage, because I'm happily jumping on the bandwagon!

You did have me intrigued witht he first photo and wow that’s a lot of dates I never inked dates whenI was young and haven’t tried them since to be honest but Maybe i should try them again my tastes have changed and I am also trying to eat more healthy
Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa !tip

Kind of fun to add a little mystery every now and then, haha! If nothing else, they make a great sugar substitute in recipes, so even if you don't like them plain they can be handy to have on hand. I think pancakes might be on the agenda this weekend with a date syrup...

Always good to have a little it of mystery now and again you sure have plenty of dates for that option :)

🎁 Hi @plantstoplanks! You have received 0.1 SBD tip from @tattoodjay!

@tattoodjay wrote lately about: My Actifit Report Card: August 1 2019 Feel free to follow @tattoodjay if you like it :)

Sending tips with @tipU - how to guide :)

Makes jam with them, would be delicious!

Yum! Great idea!

Hello!

This post has been manually curated, resteemed
and gifted with some virtually delicious cake
from the @helpiecake curation team!

Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


helpiecake

Manually curated by @steemflow.


@helpie is a Community Witness.
For more information about our project,
please visit this month’s UPDATE post.

Thanks so much @helpiecake! Hhhmm, perhaps a date cake should be on the list to make... ;)

Oh my goodness Katie, where do you keep all that??? But I must say they look amazing! Yum! I do use dates a lot in recipes too, but I didn't know about this brand. Thanks for sharing, I will check them out for sure 😊

The freezer really is full to the top now! Half of each box is in the freezer in bags, then the other half I combined in the other box and put in the refrigerator for now. I probably need to make sure I don't buy too much at the farmers market tomorrow, haha! This was the first time I ordered from this ranch, but I was pleased with the quality and how quickly they got shipped out. I will definitely be ordering some different kinds once I start working my way through these. :)

Brilliant I'm so glad I found your post. What a treasure in the dates. Well done.

They really are such a wonderful little fruit! I love that way of looking at it, too--my own little box of treasures! :)

Wow what a feast!!!!! I can totally understand your excitement over unpacking these beauties

Definitely the most delicious package I think I've ever gotten in the mail. 😃

Posted using Partiko Android

Yay! I am here. I am a vegetarian and love art. I will follow you now.

Thanks!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Pleased to meet you @mianda! Always happy to see another passionate soul joining the Steem crowd! 💚

Wow! Looking forward to seeing more from you and your date recipes!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thanks! They're so good that we've been munching on a lot as is, but I'm definitely going to be working with them soon! I'll share anything that comes out yummy. :)

Oh I love dates, but wow that's really a lot!
Dates are really expensive here, otherwise I would probably also order a box that big ^^

Haha, yes I went a little crazy! They are fairly pricey here, too, but buying in bulk definitely helped bring the price per pound down. I am still going to make sure to not let any of them go to waste!

Hehe, enjoy ^^

Hook, line and sinker, ya got me. Another excellent article from the chef, your contenders are always great, the kitchen ain’t the same without you.

About your mom’s restless legs and stuff—I got the perfect solution, also all natural. 👍🏿 Speaking of.... danget, I was gonna say something about your cover image and now I can’t remember.

I love articles like this, thanks for the tips chef! It’s always a pleasure hangin out with you.

Always happy when I get an opportunity to join the Friday kitchen! Perhaps next time I'll have finally gotten around to cooking some of these for my next entry.

I took a chance with such a bland cover image, but worth it for the fun of getting people guessing. ;)

My son absolutely loves dates. I never pay attention to varieties, though. I notice that some dates are very different than others, but this is the first side by side comparison I've seen. We even grow some tiny ones in Los Angeles. I think it's the medjool ones that are his dessert often.

Posted using Partiko Android

You can definitely tell the difference easier when you have a few at the same time. The Medjool are quite delicious as nice sweet treat, but these Barhi fit the bill for that quiet well, also! I've never been out to California, but it would be fun to hit up one of the date farms and get to try multiple types all at once.

@plantstoplanks
Your Food Fight Friday Contender has been entered into Round 54
May your contender make it out alive and not be placed in a permanent food coma!
03F862FB-864B-4085-BC57-4297B65CA946.gif
Good Luck

But surely you didn't want me to guess what was in there did you? Because I was in the epic fail and somehow I have no idea why I thought I had something to do with date night! Perhaps a cute little outfit to go with that date? Well if you can't beat them you might as well eat them!

That sure looks like 20 lb of deliciousness to me! I absolutely adore dates and when I lived in Phoenix for about 2 years, I had date palms. Not only did I have date palms, but I lived on a military base and they were all over the place. I am talking every 10 feet there is a date palm. Obviously whoever was in charge of landscaping was hungry when they went shopping. I swear to God we had dates all year round. It was the most wonderful experience and as a New Englander I can tell you that I went crazy over having them in my backyard. I look forward to seeing some of your recipes as you always have something good up your sleeve. Thank you so much for being a part of Market Friday it's always a pleasure to see you! As always I hope you have a wonderful night!

#MarketFriday loves you !!

Upped and steemed

!tip .20

A little market Friday mystery. At least I kept it going for a paragraph or so before spilling the beans, errr... dates? :) Oh I could only imagine how awesome it would be to have some right in my own backyard! That's a little piece of heaven at the top of those palms. At least with the innovation of online shopping comes the availability for me to click to add these beauties right to my digital cart and get them shipped on over to enjoy! It was quite fun to "browse", and I'm sure I will have just as much fun deciding when I am ready to order some more!

Oh at first you had me going!! I wasn't expecting the box to be full of dates! Lol

😉

Posted using Partiko Android

Hey dear! That is ALOT of dates you've got there! XD

but I know what you mean. Dates are awesome. In fact, I ate a handful of them just now. Red dates promote blood circulation and 'tonify the qi' (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine).

Resteemed!

<3

Oh cool, thanks for the interesting tip! I didn't know they came up in Chinese Medicine, but it shouldn't surprise me with how healthy they are! :) My qi will be very toned after this bunch, haha

If you doubt the dates are a healthy and delicious option for a good natural snack, I thank my father who insisted on eating them as a child, here are somewhat expensive but without hesitation are worth every penny. At this moment I would like to be there stealing a handful of each box hahaha.

I never realized how healthy dates are, I love the taste of them. Going to get me some real soon, nothing like a sweet AND healthy snak.

Enjoy!

They are awesome, aren't they? I hope you get some yummy ones to enjoy soon!