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Creamy Date Shake

If you live anywhere in California or nearby, you’ve probably heard of date milkshakes and the pretty well-known stands at farms and orchards who sell them. I have lived in California, driven through it many times from all different angles and have never tried one, but I’ve heard plenty about them.

Date Shake

A date shake perfect for iftar, and a great way to incorporate dates into your diet 

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Couscous with Dates and Butter

I recently posted a recipe for Moroccan Goat Stew which is fabulously delicious and can certainly be served over rice or even with just bread. When I was making it, however, I found myself craving a sweetened couscous. I thought about adding dried apricots to the couscous but I just didn’t have them on hand. I did have a handful of dates, though.

final dates with butter
Couscous with Deglet Noor Dates & Pastured Butter

A Quick Guide to Dates & How to Store Them

Our latest guest post is by Nadia Hubbi, Founder & CEO of Sweet Pillar & Co. Her chocolate-covered dates captured me so much that I asked her to tell us all about how to find the perfect one for our tastebuds and the origins of this ancient, lovely fruit so that we can appreciate them all the more.

Let’s talk about dates and not the kind between couples but the sweet dried fruit that has been around for centuries. Dates, bite-size brown fruits, are packed with health benefits and for the most part are available year round. While they are popular in organic and nutrition stores and during Ramadan, when many Muslims break their fast with a date, not many people know much more about them.

Dates & Cream for Iftar, dessert or a healthy snack

Dates originate from the Middle East where for generations they have sustained life in the hot arid region. In the 1920s, a rare disease called Baioudh deciminated most of the crop in the Moroccan desert, but eleven offshoots of the Medjool dates travelled to Southern California. Nine of the original eleven survived and have since flourished in the Coachella Valley in California. These account for more than 200 pounds of dates produced annually.

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Sweet Pillar & Co.’s Nadia Hubbi Gives Us Her Story and Some Ramadan Chocolate

Everyone who knows me also knows that I love chocolate— as many women do. I’m not, however, a lover of all chocolate. In fact, I’m not a fan of chocolate companies who fool consumers into thinking they’re getting real chocolate when in fact they’re getting a hefty dose of things like high fructose corn syrup or unhealthy fats and oils added to it to make it cheaper and just higher quantities of it.

It takes people who respect the pastry arts and the consumer to really put out a high quality dessert that is special and beautiful at the same time. I like that about Nadia Hubbi, founder of Sweet Pillar & Co., a California-based company selling chocolate covered dates and traditional ma’amoul cookies artfully crafted in the same way her Syrian grandmother used to make them.

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Date and Walnut Tart

Dates are also the perfect baking fruit- they freeze well, they don’t make your baking products soggy and they add just the right about of sweetness to a dessert. Below is a deliciously simple tart recipe adapted from one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks, Mediterranean: A Taste of the Sun in Over 150 Recipes by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow.

The original recipe calls for a few things I didn’t have or didn’t have time to make, such as the homemade pastry dough. Instead, I buy a good quality one with very few ingredients, all of them natural and healthy and then freeze the crust for times like these.

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Incorporating Dates Into Your Diet

Before beginning, allow me to extend a warm Ramadan Mubarak! (Ramadan Greetings) to all the readers of My Halal Kitchen. Thank you for your generosity and kindness in words and deeds in support of this site. May you all have a blessed month! We can’t discuss food in Ramadan without first talking about the significance of … Read more

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