Choose dates that are intact, moist and without blemishes or mold. Pitted dates have had the pit removed, others still contain the pit, be careful not to swallow the pit or injure your teeth.
Medjool dates can be kept in your pantry but they’ll dry out a bit faster. For long storage it’s best to keep them in your fridge or freezer where they’ll stay fresh and delicious for months!
Dates are best stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container to help them retain moisture. They can be stored up to 6 months in the refrigerator, but may lose moisture the longer they sit. Large quantities of dates can also be frozen for up to one year.
The white stuff you may occasionally see on the outside of a date is the natural sugar crystallizing and making its way to the outside of the date. It’s totally fine to eat, but if you don’t like the looks of the white stuff or if you want the date to be softer you can wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave it for 5 seconds, the date will plump up and the sugar will be absorbed back into the date.
Medjool dates are healthy! They contain natural sugar, but they have a low/medium glycemic index score because they also contain a good amount of fiber, which slows the release of the carbohydrates and gives you sustained energy rather spiking your blood sugar crazy high. They’re also low in fat and packed with nutrients like potassium (50% more potassium by weight than a banana), copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.
There’s no wrong way to eat a Medjool date and there are a TON of different uses. Date syrup for breakfast, dates in salads, cod with a bourbon date sauce, coconut date rice, stuffed dates, date caramelized crème brûlée and date sweetened cocktails.