ANSWERED: Your Most Popular Questions About Medjool Dates
Aug 24, 2022 | By: Natural Delights
Can my dog eat Medjool dates? Why do they look like that? How do they grow? You asked, and we’re answering the top questions we get about Medjool dates!
Why do you grow in Bard Valley?
You may have heard of Medjool dates from other locations, but it’s by no accident that the original six Medjool date palms that were transported from Morocco to the U.S. were planted in Bard Valley. We grow here because it is the most ideal growing conditions for Medjool dates. Bard Valley has an extremely dry desert climate which helps the fruit grow plump and juicy while protecting them from microbial contamination and mold which can occur in other areas that produce more moisture.
How do Medjool dates grow?
Medjool dates are a very hands-on crop. Each tree requires several visits throughout the year to produce the beautiful fruit you see in your store. Here’s a video explaining our growing process from start to finish:
Are Medjool dates a dried fruit?
Nope! They are a fresh, whole fruit! So why the skin appearance, you might ask? Much like our own skin when we are exposed to extreme heat, it can become dry and tight. Thankfully, Medjool dates have that protective layer of skin to contain the high moisture content within each fruit while they grow so that the eating experience does not feel like a traditional dried fruit. Medjool dates have a decadent chewy texture, even after growing in such high temperatures.
How should I store Medjool dates, and how do I know if they’re spoiled?
Since our product is perishable, it’s important to know how to store and monitor your dates for optimal freshness.
Here are a few helpful tips for storing:
Keep in an airtight container.
A cool, dry place - a pantry, for example - will keep dates fresh for up to 6 months.
If you prefer to extend the shelf life, refrigerate (up to 12 months) or freeze.
*Pro-tip:to bring your dates back to room temperature from refrigerating/freezing, or to help dates that are drier than preferred, simply wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 5-10 seconds at a time. They’ll be like new!
*Don’t be afraid if you see white powder on the outside of your dates. That is not mold - it’s simply the sugars from the date that have crystallized. Wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for a few seconds and it will reabsorb!
Here are signs that your dates are spoiled:
If the inside is black or spotted, that means they are moldy and were likely stored improperly, either in transit or at home.
If the outside is cracked and flaky and the inside is extremely dry (with stringy fibers), it’s likely that your dates are past their expiration date. Much like bananas, you can still use these dates for baking by blending or reducing them down, but they might not make the best snacks on their own at this stage.
*If you ever purchase our dates and they look spoiled upon opening the container, all you have to do is reach out to us here and we’ll make it right.
Why do dates have so much sugar?
Not all sugar is created equal. Fresh fruits have naturally occurring sugars that our body needs to provide energy versus processed sugars which create sugar highs and subsequent crashes in our body. Medjool dates are low on the glycemic index which means the sugars from the dates process slower in our body than traditional sugars, making them an excellent source of energy and healthy nutrients.
Here is a deeper explanation on glycemic index and the sugars found in Medjool dates.
Are Medjool dates safe for kids...and dogs?
In short, yes!
We recommend consulting with your child’s pediatrician to ensure you are introducing foods at the appropriate time, but Medjool dates are an excellent snack for little ones. Check out our Kid Nutrition resource page for more information and snack recommendations from our registered dietitian partners.
Dogs can have Medjool dates in moderation as they are perfectly safe to consume. Keep in mind that dates are high in fiber and have higher natural sugars, so start with a small piece to see how your dog’s tummy responds (much like with watermelon).
Have another burning question we didn’t answer here?
Check out our FAQ page for additional questions or ask our team a question here.