While the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it can seem impossible to keep up with seasonal eating. What could possibly be harvested at such a cold and inhospitable time of year? Actually, plenty of fruits and vegetables are at their peak in November. Last year we provided recipes for winter squash and pumpkins, this year we’re going in a different direction.
Dates are an often overlooked fruit, but they are chock full of health benefits. Dates are good for your digestive system, easing constipation and stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines. They have high mineral content (including high levels of iron), making them a good supplement for those suffering from anemia. They’re also good for your heart – dates are high in potassium, which has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and other heart-related diseases. So dates are great!
But how do you cook them? There are plenty of recipes for date muffins, or date and banana bread, or dates wrapped in bacon – but very few for savory, healthy recipes. So I did some digging and found a few dinner recipes (and one dessert) that are full of produce and protein and will let you enjoy dates as more than just a snack.

Spicy Couscous with Dates

This dish could work as a side or a main course, depending on serving size. Some reviews on the site suggested adding zucchini to make it more filling, while others said it was perfect as is. Consensus is that the recipe has a good balance of spicy and sweet, and is easy to make for a quick dinner. Between prep and cook times, dinner is ready in 30 minutes.

Proscuitto Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Herbed Goat Cheese

So this recipe is more decadent than the couscous, but is also certainly a main course. The flavors of the prosciutto, dates, and goat cheese combine well, and prep time is only 35 minutes. To make your overall meal healthier, pair it with a vegetable side or generous serving of salad.

Roasted Dates Stuffed With Pine Nuts in Honey

Though it sounds over the top sweet, this dessert balances the dates and the honey with Gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts. Soaking the pine nuts takes half an hour, but the rest of the prep is only 20 minutes. Keep in mind that this will be incredibly rich – so don’t overdo it! But enjoy the contrast and compliments in the flavors, and the compliments from your guests!
Have you cooked with dates before? Share your favorite recipe in the comments.
Image Credit: Vicharam