Dates

Dates are available year round, but because they are harvested in fall and early winter, they’re freshest then. There are three main categories of dates: soft, semisoft, and dry.

Dry dates, or bread dates, are not dates that have been deliberately dehydrated, as is the case with other kinds of dried fruits. Instead, they simply contain relatively little moisture when ripe.

Here are some varieties of dates you may find below

Category:
Various Types of Dates from different origin

Ajwa: This is a combination of the soft and dry variety, sweet to eat and smooth in the mouth. These dates are known to have healing properties, and, in a hadith, the prophet is reported to have said that having seven ajwa dates in the morning protects a person from magic and poison until the evening.

Anbara: These large dates are a favourite due to their big, fleshy form and small seed. They’re also one of the most expensive varieties! They’re sweet, brown and full of protein.

Safawi: These black dates are sweet, fleshy and packed with vitamins. They are soft and cultivated in Madinah. These dates are known for their healing properties. If eaten on an empty stomach, they kill stomach worms. They’re also famous for their high mineral content.

Barhi: These are yellow and crunchy. The ripe date tastes like caramel and brown sugar. It’s sweet, like most dates, and totally worth it. These creamy dates are really delicate and often sold while they’re still on the thin branches. These seasonal dates can be frozen and stored for months.

Saghai: These crisp dates are cultivated in Riyadh. They are usually brown, and light yellow at the tip. They’re wrinkled but don’t flake, and are definitely must-haves!

Khudri: These dark brown dates are dry and sweet. They have wrinkled skin and may be either large or small. They’re one of the most exported dates because of their freshness and reasonable prices. They are one of the best dates to go for if you want to refresh and energize.

Sukkari: These are crisp and really sweet; a quality which gives them their name. These are known for their healing and nutritious properties. They lower cholesterol, prevent tooth decay and also help get rid of fatigue. These are cultivated in Al Qaseem region.

Zahidi: These golden, oval dates have a firm texture and nutty taste. They have thick skin, are semi dry and less sweet than other dates. They are high in fiber.

Mejdool: These are known as the ‘Queen of Dates’. They have a large, cushiony texture, strong and sweet flavour. They’re really popular in America and are often used in making shakes and smoothies. They’re usually available year round.

Kholas: These dates have a caramel flavour when cured. They’re sticky when they’re fresh and usually consumed with Arabic coffee. They have loose skin, and they originated in Al Qaseem and Al Kharj regions of our country.

Specification

Properties Values & Limits
Moisture Content Approx. 22-25%
Invert Sugar Content Approx. 70% (Medjool variety)
Cleanliness Standard Clean of dust and dirt while maintaining a naturally clean look. No bird pecks, rodent bites or like damage
Preservatives None
Hydrated Fruit Consists of increasing the fruit moisture content through a steaming process to meet moisture content specifications

Facts on Dates

Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around Iraq. The species is widely cultivated and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

Date trees typically reach about 21–23 meters (69–75 ft) in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves are 4–6 meters (13–20 ft) long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets. The leaflets are 30 cm (12 in) long and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6–10 m (20–33 ft).

Benefits and uses:

  • Lowers cholesterol: Did you know that dates are free from cholesterol, and contain very little fat? Including them in smaller quantities in your daily diet can help you keep a check on cholesterol level, and even assist in weight loss.
  • Protein rich: Dates are a strong source for proteins that help us in staying fit, and even keep our muscles strong. A lot of regular gym goers are asked to eat a couple of dates every day as part of their daily routine.
  • Rich in vitamins: Dates contain vitamins such as B1, B2, B3 and B5, as well as A1 and C. If you have a few dates every day, you won’t have to take vitamin supplements. Not only will it keep you healthy, there will be a noticeable change in your energy levels as well because dates contain natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and fructose, too. So it works really well as a quick snack.
  • Improves bone health: Dates are rich in selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, and all of these are required when it comes to keeping our bones healthy, and preventing conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • Strengthens the nervous system: Date are loaded with potassium, and yet contain little sodium, and that goes a long way in keeping your nervous system in order. The potassium helps to reduce cholesterol, and keeps the risk of a stroke in check.
  • Rich in iron: Apart from the fluorine that keeps your teeth healthy, dates also contain iron, which is highly recommended for those who suffer from iron deficiency. Plus it’s great for blood purification as well.
  • Promotes digestion: If you soak a few dates in water and chew on them daily, your digestive system will behave itself very well. Plus it’s recommended for those who have trouble with constipation.
  • Improves skin: The vitamins C and D works on your skin’s elasticity, and also keeps your skin smooth. Plus, if you suffer from skin problems, incorporating dates into your diet might help you in the long run. Plus dates also come with anti-ageing benefits, and prevent the accumulation of melanin in your body.
  • Fixes hangovers: While we haven’t exactly tried it out, but it’s said that dates are an excellent way to control inebriation. And similarly, it also helps to cure hangovers. But for best results, you have to rub the skin a bit, and soak it in water overnight and then eat it.
  • Assists in weight gain: The sugar, proteins, and other vitamins in the fruit help in weight gain, especially when you need it. Incidentally, it’s said that when eaten with cucumber, dates help to keep your weight at a normal level. Now that’s what we call flexibility!
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