Once you discover Medjool dates, there’s no turning back. They are just too delicious, and yes, even nutritious, to not have as part of your healthy diet. It has a creamy, sweet, and luscious texture that has a different taste to the smaller and firmer deglet nour dates, which taste almost similar to caramel.
The Medjool date comes from the date palm (Phoenix dectylifera), which is a tree from the palm family found in the Canary Islands, the Middle East, Northern Africa, India, Pakistan, and California. The date is a typically oblong, one-seeded fruit that often varies in color, size, quality, and flesh consistency.
It is also referred to as “nature’s candy” or “nature’s power fruit” because this natural, high-fiber sweetener is packed with vitamins and minerals. Research has even found that Medjool dates can reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The calcium and phosphorus in Medjool dates also help to build strong teeth and bones. Other key nutrients in Medjool dates include potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
How do you incorporate these nutrient-dense Medjool dates into your diet? Read on to discover some amazing Medjool date recipes.
5 Delicious Recipes with Medjool Dates
Although Medjool dates are a great snack on their own, their sticky texture and unique sweetness also make them excellent for binding other ingredients, so they are perfect for cakes, crusts, shakes, smoothies, and other desserts. These dates also blend well due to their tender texture, so you can also incorporate them into sauces and nut milks quite well for some sweetness.
Medjool dates come with the pit since the fruit is too soft for a mechanical pitter. Though dealing with pits is not ideal, you can easily remove them.
Simply make a small, lengthwise slice into the date with a knife, and take out the pit. It’s that easy, and now you can use the Medjool date for different recipes. Alternatively, you can also remove the pit with your fingers.
There are many ways to incorporate Medjool dates into desserts and snacks that can help give you energy and make you feel full, so you don’t eat all the desserts.
Here are five healthy dessert recipes featuring the Medjool date. You will love them. Give them a try, and you’ll see what I mean.
1. Quinoa Avocado Cacao Fudge Cake Recipe
The following fudge cake recipe has no flour, but it does have quinoa and Medjool dates. They combine for a wonderful gluten-free batter that also includes cacao powder, chia seeds, water, vanilla, baking powder, salt, and your choice of sweetener.
It is a gluten-free quinoa base that is loaded with nutrition including chocolate avocado mousse all in one. It is rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, while this recipe is also vegan, Paleo, plant-based, and refined sugar-free.
You get eight delicious fudge cake slices in this easy-to-make recipe. Whenever you need a cake, be sure to remember this recipe.
For the chocolate cake:
- 1 ½ cups of quinoa
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 1 cup of pitted Medjool dates (about 10 to 12 dates)
- 1 tsp. of baking powder
- 4 tbsp. of cacao powder
- 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. of chia seeds
- A pinch of coarse sea salt
- Optional: 2 to 4 tbsp. of maple syrup or coconut syrup
For the avocado chocolate icing:
- 2 large ripe avocados
- 4 to 6 tbsp. of sweetener, like coconut syrup or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. of coconut oil
- 4 tbsp. of cacao powder
- Berries for decoration like fresh organic raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
Soak the quinoa for at least 15 minutes, and drain. Soaking for an hour or overnight is preferable. Soaking quinoa is needed to make the seed easier to blend, and for the body to absorb. Also, the nutrients are more bioavailable during the soaking step.
In a high-speed blender, add the quinoa, two cups of water, dates, vanilla, baking powder, cacao powder, chia seeds, sea salt, and maple syrup or coconut syrup.
In two coconut oil-greased six-inch pans, bake for 35 to 45 minutes at 350°F. It is cooked when a knife comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before taking the cake out the pan.
In the meantime, blend all the icing ingredients in a clean high-speed blender. Ice the top of one cake, and place the other cake on top, then ice the top and sides of the cake.
Decorate with berries and store in the fridge up to three days.
2. No-Bake Carrot Cake with Lemon Icing Recipe
Is carrot cake your favorite dessert? The following carrot cake recipe is healthier than the traditional one you may be accustomed to eating. This recipe provides plenty of flavors without guilty feeling of eating something sweet and not-so-good for you.
The carrots and Medjool dates are loaded with fiber, while hemp seeds and walnuts provide protein and healthy fats.
Although you can leave it in the freezer or refrigerator until you are ready to eat, it is easier to cut if you freeze it, and let it sit for a few minutes. If you store it in the fridge, the icing may be crumbly when you cut it.
You get about eight carrot cake squares from this recipe.
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 ½ cups of walnuts
- 1 cup of unsweetened, unsulfured shredded coconut
- ½ cup of shelled hemp seeds
- ½ cup of raw liquid honey
- 2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. of cinnamon
- 1 tsp. of nutmeg
- ½ tsp. of ground cloves
For the lemon icing:
- ½ cup of coconut butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup of raw liquid honey
- 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. of lemon zest
- Optional: 2 tbsp. of unsweetened almond milk
For the cake, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until almost smooth. This step will take two batches.
Press the mixture into an eight-inch square cake pan, and chill in the fridge for one to two hours.
For the icing, in the cleaned food processor, combine honey, coconut butter, lemon zest, and honey. Blend until creamy, and add almond milk for a thinner consistency.
Spread the icing evenly on top of the chilled cake. Freeze or refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
3. Homemade Ginger Chews Recipe
Ginger chews and candies are popular at many health food stores, but they are still loaded with sugar. Luckily, it is possible to duplicate the recipe on your own and make it even healthier with Medjool dates, vanilla extract, almond butter, and freshly grated ginger.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients called gingerols. As a result, ginger has a long history of relieving digestive problems, including abdominal pain, nausea, and appetite loss.
These ginger chews are also a good source of protein and healthy fats with the almond butter, and the dates provide fiber as well. So, put back those processed ginger snacks, and try making this unique version of them.
- 10 Medjool dates
- ½ tsp. of vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. of Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tbsp. of coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. of raw almond butter
- ½ tsp. of cinnamon
- 4 tbsp. of freshly grated ginger
Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Stop on occasion to scrape down the sides.
Place the dough in a sealed container lined with parchment paper. Place it in the freezer for one hour.
Remove the ginger chew dough from the freezer, and roll into balls with your hands.
Place the ginger chews into a parchment-lined sealed container. Store them in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy them. Doing this will keep the ginger chews firm and fresh.
4. Chocolate Hemp and Date Shake Recipe
Do you feel for a treat? How about a chocolate hemp and date shake after your meal? It is dessert in a glass, and it is absolutely tasty.
Although it is full of cacao powder (chocolate), it also has a ton of nutrition, which sets this shake apart from others. The coconut butter, hemp hearts, and chia seeds provide a lot of protein and healthy fats, while the dates and banana add fiber.
If your blender has a hard time blending dates, try soaking them for 30 minutes before you use them.
This recipe makes four cups and is perfect to share with friends or family.
- 1 ¾ cups of unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
- 1 large frozen banana, roughly chopped
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted
- 3 tbsp. of cacao powder
- 3 tbsp. of hemp hearts
- 2 tbsp. of chia seeds
- 1 tbsp. of coconut butter or pumpkin seed butter
- ¼ tsp. of ground cinnamon
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
- 4 ice cubes
In a high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients and blend on high until it is very smooth.
5. Goji Cookie Dough Date Balls Recipe
Medjool dates make great dessert balls, and the following recipe is proof of that fact. The cashews and rolled oats combine to make the “cookie dough,” but a whole lot healthier version.
The cashew butter gives these balls a distinct buttery flavor, but you can substitute with almond or peanut butter if you like. And, the goji berries are an optional ingredient here as a way to add some antioxidants and more nutrition to the mix.
Overall, this dessert snack recipe is perfect for any time, and it makes for about 15 delicious date balls. Remember, if your dates are dry, soak them in a bowl of boiled water for up to 30 minutes, and drain well before you use them.
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- ½ cup of gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup of Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp. of pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. of raw cashew butter
- ½ tsp. of pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. of coarse sea salt, or to taste
- 2 tbsp. of vegan chocolate chips
- Optional: 2 tbsp. of goji berries
In a food processor, combine the cashews and oats and process until a fine flour forms. It will take 30 to 60 seconds. Do not process too long, or the oils will release, and the cashews will turn into butter.
Add the dates and process again until the dates are finely chopped. Then, add the maple syrup, vanilla, cashew butter, and salt, and process until combined. The dough will stick together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a teaspoon of water, and process again.
Pulse in the chocolate chips and goji berries until well combined.
Line a large plate with parchment paper. Remove the blade from the food processor, and while using your hands, grab a tablespoon of dough and roll it between your hands into a ball. Set the ball on the lined plate, and repeat with the rest of the dough.
Chill the dough balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Doing this firms them up, but feel free to enjoy them at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.
Final Thoughts on Medjool Date Desserts
Now you know a bit about the unique versatility of Medjool dates. You will be able to find Medjool dates at your local grocery store, usually in the bulk section.
Medjool dates can also be stored in an airtight container in a cool or dry place for a couple of months. However, they last longer in the refrigerator, and you can keep them in the freezer for up to a year.
I once thought all dates were the same, but I was wrong. I had used firm dates instead of Medjool dates, and it was harder to form my dessert as a result. The soft plumpness is what makes Medjool dates perfect for desserts, and without that, it just doesn’t work.
You can try soaking firm dates and using them for your recipe instead, but I think that’s a last resort type of option. This is because there is just no replacing the taste and flavor of Medjool dates.
What are you waiting for? Start enjoying those Medjool dates!
McCarthy, J., Joyous Detox: Your Complete Plan and Cookbook to Be Vibrant Every Day (Toronto: Penguin Group, 2016), 256.
“Quinoa Avocado Chocolate Fudge Cake,” Nest & Glow; http://www.nestandglow.com/healthy-recipes/quinoa-avocado-chocolate-fudge-cake, last accessed June 20, 2017.
Liddon, A., Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes (Toronto: Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2016), 7, 93, 305.
Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 708-709.