Some recipes call for small pieces of dates in them. It has always been a bit of a challenge for chefs and cooks to get this sweet and sticky fruit chopped into desired sizes. Have you been wondering how you can chop dates in a food processor?
A date is a fruit that has a single seed covered by a thick fleshy fruit. It grows on a date palm which looks a lot like a coconut tree.
Dates are believed to exist at 50 million years ago and originate from Mesopotamia. It is quite popular in the Middle East, but Egypt remains the largest producer of dates in the world today.
How Do You Chop Dates with A Food Processor?
The following steps can be taken to chop dates in a food processor.
Step 1: Dates possess a stone seed in the middle which might not be a good addition to your recipe. The seed is hard and will not blend or chop evenly with the fleshy part of the date. It is, therefore, an important task to remove it.
This is done by slicing the dates and getting rid of the hard seeds. This will leave only the flesh that will be put in the food processor and chopped.
Step 2: The dates are quite sticky especially when you chop them in a food processor. You can choose to chop the dates alone and end up with a sticky lump or you can use a drying agent.
The drying agent helps to keep the pieces of chopped dates from sticking together and forming a lump in the food processor.
When dates are processed and they begin to form lumps, some of the dates do not get chopped.
It becomes more difficult for the blades of the food processor to successfully touch all the dates put into it.
A popular drying agent used in the chopping of dates in a food processor is the oatmeal.
This is because it is easily washed off when the processing is complete if it is not a suitable part of the recipe. Also, the oatmeal does not alter the flavor of the dates.
Step 3: Put the dates into the bowl of the food processor and use the pulse button to get the dates to your desired size. It is best to check the dates often to make sure that the size of the date pieces is good enough.
Step 4: Rinse off the oatmeal with water and separate your dates. If you didn’t use a drying agent while chopping the dates, you have to break up the sticky glob with your fingers.
How to Chop Dates Without A Food Processor
This can be done using a very sharp knife. It is always best to use this method if the chopped dates are going to be a part of a cake recipe.
Whenever a date is cut open, it sticks to the knife and to each other. It is therefore very important to use flour to prevent this from happening.
Start by sprinkling flour on the knife and the working surface. Using the tip of the knife, cut open the date and remove the seed. Dust some flour on the date and cut into the desired size.
If the knife gets too sticky, wash it in warm water and dry it completely. Then continue with the procedure until they are all chopped.
How Do You Blend Dates in A Food Processor?
Blending dates in a food processor yield a sweet sticky paste known as the date paste or date honey. The date paste is a natural sweetener made by blending dates in water.
It is quite nutritious and easy to make. It is used mainly as an alternative to maple syrup or honey in some recipes.
Before dates can be blended in the food processor to make a date paste, it should be soaked in warm water for at least 1-2 hours.
This will soften the skin which helps to make the blending easier and the end product more homogenous.
Using the high-speed settings of the food processor, blend the dates into a thick sticky paste.
Add a little quantity of the soaking water to the food processor which blending the dates. This is done to create a smoother and creamier date paste.
VIDEO: How To Make A Date Paste.
This video shows how to make a date paste using a blender or a food processor.
How Do You Blend A Date Without A Food Processor?
To do this, you have to soak the dates in warm water for about 30 minutes. Then place the dates together with the soaking water in a microwave oven.
Turn the microwave to high and let it work on the dates for 2 minutes. Remove and mash with a fork. Put it back in the microwave and repeat it. Continue until the dates are completely mashed into a smooth paste.
Nutritional Value of Dates
Dates have high sugar content therefore some people might think it is an unhealthy snack. Actually, it is packed with nutrients and is actually a better substitute than processed snacks and sweeteners.
The nutritional value of 100g of dates (10 average-sized dates) is
- Energy – 275 kcal
- Water – 21g
- Total fat – 0g
- Fiber – 6g
- Total carbohydrates – 50.33g
- Sugar – 40.5g
- Protein – 1.7g
- Potassium – 470mg
- Calcium – 64mg
- Magnesium – 30mg
- Phosphorus – 62mg
- Manganese – 0.3mg
- Iron – 0.7mg
- Zinc – 0.44mg
- Copper – 0.36mg
- Vitamin B2 – 0.06mg
- Vitamin B3 – 1.61mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.12mg
- Choline – 9.9mg
Health Benefits of Dates
- They are a great source of energy and an alternative to artificial sugars, sweeteners, and candies.
- They contain a high quantity of polyphenols which are antioxidants that prevent inflammations in the body.
- They contain a lot of potassium which is useful in the building of muscles and the maintenance of heart health.
- Dates contain fiber which can help in the maintenance of the digestive system and in weight loss.
- Dates contain iron which makes it useful in the treatment of anemia.
- Dates contain natural aphrodisiacs that may help to increase libido and sexual function in men.
- Dates contain potassium that can help to manage chronic diarrhea.
- The significant amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium contained in dates can help to maintain proper bone health and tissue regeneration.
Popular Date Snacks
- Pumpkin Oat and Date Muffins
- Date Cubes with Oat Crust
- Honey Date Cookies
- Lamb Tagine with Dates
- Oat and Date Quick Bread
- Date Cookies
- Date and Orange Bread
- Sweet Potato and Date Pudding
- Almond Paste Stuffed Dates
- Date Muffins
- Date Nut Bread
- Date Bars