Can You Freeze Dates?

For a proven ancient plant, the date palm is a resilient specie of fruit bearing tree that originated in the Middle East at the start of early civilizations. Its fruit is commonly consumed fresh, dried or grinded into paste and packaged all around the world. The fruit is gaining popularity for its sweet taste and sticky texture when chopped. It is again coming into the limelight because of the health revolution where it was found to be a tasty healthy alternative to syrups as a food binding agent. For years, this plant has become a big industry that supported the Middle Eastern countries that export it to all parts of the globe. Its effective preservation is therefore integral to the industry. One such preservation method that is being explored for its feasibility is freezing.

It is possible to freeze dates specifically the Deglet Nour variety. It has a below 0°C freezing point. It is also possible to freeze it solid or to flash froze it. Such a technique will effectively preserve the freshness of the dates.

Can you freeze dates?

Dates can be frozen well. Though it is not usually preserved in such a way, it is possible and it can be kept even longer when cooled. Fresh dates particularly are more suited for cooling methods especially if the fresh dates are the desired end products.

Why would you want to preserve fresh dates? Well, it has proven health benefits and by eating it in its natural state, unprocessed and fresh, you would get the full health benefits that this fruit can offer.

A 2001 study that examines the antioxidant contents of dietary plants found that fruits like plums, pomegranates, and dates have the largest antioxidant content among the fruit population. Antioxidants like vitamin E lessen free radicals that can harm the cells of the body. This is especially useful when planning a well-balanced and healthy plant based diet.

If one would want the fresh dates to be flash frozen to fully preserve the fruits’ freshness, a 2010 study stated that the maximal freezing point of the dates wherein it will be 93% frozen will be -27.18°C.

Although it can be frozen effectively, the common preservation methods that dates undergo are drying and grinding into pastes.  The natural dry and sticky texture of the fruit makes it ideal to be mixed with nuts and turned into candy with orange peels and the like. This is only one way that this fruit is often enjoyed in Middle Eastern cultures.

Not only does these methods more common that freezing, they are more economical and it amplifies the sweet taste of the fruit. Often used for desserts, these methods are perfect to concentrate its sugar content. It is an ideal alternative to unhealthy sugar-based syrups often used in delectable treats like cakes and candies.

How to preserve dates?

Freezing dates is a straightforward process. Because of its naturally high sugar content and low water content, it is easy to freeze it effectively. Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • When freezing whole dates, it is wise to remove the pits first using a paring knife. Slit the sides and take the pits out of the fruit.
  • Keep it in freezer bags or any sturdy freezer proof container and make sure that there are no spaces as much as possible in between the dates. This is to make sure that moisture will not get trapped in those spaces lessening the shelf life of the dates.
  • These dates will not freeze solid due to its high sugar content unless you have special equipment to reach its maximal freezing temperature. This makes it an ideal snack and perfect to be added into smoothies for that cool and refreshing taste.

Dates recipes

For a classy finger food that will surely impress your friends the next time you invite them over, try this simple but delicious bacon-wrapped dates with cream cheese.

Are you in a healthy food kick but craving a sweet drink? Avoid those tempting milkshakes with empty calories by creating this satisfying amazing date shake.

For a different take on the humble roast chicken, try this healthy roast chicken with dates recipe that will elevate the status of the popular dish.

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