Holiday time is nearly upon us, and with it comes the promise of family, feasting and good times. It’s a time for decadence, a time to indulge the senses and a time to joyfully embrace all that is sweet about life and love. In our home, organic Medjool dates are a big part of our lives. – we are organic date farmers, after all! But even though dates figure prominently in our everyday routine, the holidays are still an extra special time. Many of our family holiday recipes feature dates, sometimes as the star attraction and sometimes as a not-so-secret ‘secret ingredient’ that we think really ‘makes’ the dish. Our Naked Dates on their own are a cherished treat too: beautifully gift-boxed, they are ready for gifting or just to keep on hand for when guests drop by unexpectedly.
Holiday Recipes with Organic Medjool Dates
You likely have plenty of delicious recipes that your family eagerly anticipates each December, and we would never attempt to usurp their rightful place on your holiday tables – however, there are many delectable dishes whose star ingredient is something that we hold dear: organic Medjool dates. Our dates are a sweet delight all on their own (they don’t call it ‘nature’s candy’ for nothing) but when included in your holiday recipes there is not a person alive who can resist!
Tip: if you are using our Naked Dates strictly for cooking and baking, be sure to buy our pitted organic Medjool dates to cut down on your prep time.
Pitted dates are also perfect for stuffing. We suggest blue cheese, but you can try them with goat cheese, or one of the cheeses we suggest below.
For the vegans among us, try this amazing raw/vegan stuffed-date recipe using pistachios and freshly shredded coconut:
1/2 C unshelled, raw pistachios
1 tsp raw organic tahini
1 tsp raw organic honey
1 tbsp freshly shredded, raw sweetened coconut plus 1 tbsp for garnish
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until well blended and pasty. Stuff into the center of a pitted Naked Date and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut when ready to serve. Takes about 5 minutes start-to-finish: YUM!
If you love dates but aren’t sure how you’re going to use them all up, here are a couple of great ideas, tailor-made for the holidays:
Paired with salty cheeses
Serve Naked Dates in all their naked glory alongside salty cheeses like Stilton, an aged Manchego, an Italian Pecorino or any cheese that is Truffle-infused. The tangy, nutty sharpness of these cheeses is the perfect foil to the sweet, gooey texture of our Naked Dates. Cut and arrange your cheeses with Extra Fancy Naked Dates, freshly cracked pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds. Bread or crackers completely optional!
Dates pack a flavorful punch in our holiday stuffing. No matter whether you go in for the traditional turkey with all the trimmings, a Tofurky Roast or absolutely anything else, a stuffing threaded with organic Medjool dates puts delight in every bite. This recipe is made first on the stove and then in the oven, but if you wanted to stuff your bird with it, you could do that too.
Combine the following:
6 cups of stale bread, cut into strips
(gluten free option: two recipes corn bread, broken into small pieces)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or your favorite oil for cooking)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
handful of fresh sage leaves
1-1/2 cups roasted chestnuts, chopped in half
1-1/2 cups Pitted Organic Medjool Naked Dates, cut in bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (or as needed) vegetable stock OR turkey stock OR water
Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. Sautee onions and garlic until translucent, then add sage leaves and stir for an additional 3 minutes. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir well to blend everything. Start adding the liquid (stock or water) gradually until the stuffing is a little wetter than you would want it. the bread will absorb all the liquid, but the consistency should be slightly pudding-y. Blend all ingredients thoroughly, then transfer to a baking or casserole dish. If you have the time, set it aside for an hour so that the flavors can mingle. Give it a good stir before you pop it in the oven at 375˚ for 30 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately alongside all your holiday favorites! (serves 4-8, depending on appetite; note that it’s super-rich and a little goes a long way!)
Give the gift of Naked Dates and see the smiles come alive!
Of course, you can’t feed everybody over the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spread the Naked love around, just the same! Our gift-boxed Naked Dates are hand-selected, and only the juiciest most voluptuous dates make the grade. Each is individually wrapped for easy snacking, and are available in 1 pound or 2 pound boxes. They make the perfect hostess gift, and are a welcome treat for young and old.
Have your Naked Dates and Eat Them Too!
We ship Naked Dates all over the United States. Browse our online shop for the current selection. Shipping charges will be added at checkout. Or, if you are in the Yuma area we would love to meet up! You will find many treats at our farm store that we don’t offer for shipping – tours, tastings and our unique date products including date soap, date soda and date beer. Come taste the organic difference, and get naked this holiday season!