August 20, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated August 20, 2021
Simple steps for making dry dates
Tunisia is one of the few countries with a long-standing culture of growing date palm trees. The southern eastern parts of the country are evergreen palm oases that attract sightseers from miles away.
Dates are the favorite fall fruits for everyone around here; they reign supreme over all others. As Tunisians, we consume too many dates either as snacks or used in different recipes. We can be very creative when it comes to eating the sweetest fruit ever. Besides, we cherish our traditions and make sure certain history old recipes are being respected and prepared in time.
What’s even more important is preparing and preserving dry dates for consumption beyond the season of dates. This article will guide you through simple steps to make and stock your own dry dates and reap the incredible benefits of honey-like tasting fruits.
Types of dates:
According to the texture of dates at the time of harvesting, we can count three types: the soft, the semi-dry, and the dry fruits. Both the characteristics and uses of these types differ significantly.
Deglet noor dates are one of the most delicious and sweetest kinds of soft dates. They are globally renowned and win everyone’s hearts. These dates can go bad if left unpreserved. Some types are so soft that can be sticky and full of syrup. They need to be kept in the fridge if you buy a quantity for a few days’ consumptions. If you are stockpiling a quantity for year-round use you will need to preserve it in very low-temperature degrees.
Dry dates such as the kalmi variety are also widely produced and traded. These kinds of dried dates become naturally dry when they ripen. Wrinkles are the first sign to notice if the dates you find are naturally dry.
The three types can be used for different recipes, especially for baked goods such as biscuits, cakes, and muffins.
How to dry dates?
Ancient people living in the deserts and moving constantly from one region to another relied heavily on oases to provide them with their daily needs. Water, shade, and food both for humans and animals can be found in those regenerative green fields in the midst of nowhere.
People, back then, were bound by a few types of date palm trees. The semi-dry and soft types needed to be somewhat treated so that they can last for long periods.
The wisdom of ancient people came up with the drying solution. The process is quite simple and does not need much effort or time.
The fruits need to be harvested only when they are fully ripe. Then, using a knife, you have to cut each date open and remove the kernel. You can leave the fruit intact from one side or you can cut it into two halves; it makes no difference.
When you are done you simply have to put the crop on pieces of cloths or any hard surface and leave it to dry under the sun rays.
If you live in an area where there are long sunny hours and high-temperature degrees, it will take about a week or ten days for the fruits to dry perfectly. If you live in a cold place then it will take much longer.
Regardless, you can judge the results for yourself, either by eating a piece or two or simply judging by sight.
You can use a food dehydrator or even the oven if you are looking for quick results, but I can assure you that the end product will not be the same. Sun drying is always the optimal, most convenient, and healthiest solution.
Are dry dates and undried dates good for you?
Are dates good for you? Only someone, from a country where date palm trees are a rare sight, can ask such a question. Those, including me, who are from regions where palm trees are regarded as sacred trees and their fruits seen as treasures, know for sure the nutritional value dried and undried dates have to offer.
Dates might be rich in sugars but this is no problem; you just need to keep control of the quantity you consume daily. A handful of these sweet fruits can do no harm. Besides, they are very fulfilling and can elevate your energy levels beyond expectation.
You can choose to have a few soft dates as part of your breakfast and notice for yourself how your energy will be boosted and you will feel ready for a long exhausting day. Muslims in Ramadan break their fasting with dates. Sugars and other nutrients would restore one’s energy and quench hunger.
Dates are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium. These nutrients are the magical ingredients for well-being and good health.