Okay soooo! I was working in the city over Christmas and getting wonderful fresh medjool dates from a little fruit store. They were really expensive though. Just 10 dates was $5. But it was a lot of calories and I was earning money so I treated myself!
Now that I'm back at uni (and money is much much tighter!) I have been searching for them in my local area and can't get them! :(
I did however find prepackaged dates. I read the packet and they didn't contain any added stuff. My only concern was that they looked like a different variety of dates? Is that still okay? Also I left a handful of them in a car for a few hours on a VERY hot day and ate them anyway, and they tasted the same.... Which leads me to think that there is a possibility that the packaged dates might not be raw? Actually now that I think about it it seems silly, who would buy "oven baked dates" or "steamed dates"?? That sounds revolting. Okay they are probably raw. Actually now that I think about it I've seen a lot of gourmet raw foodists use packaged dates.
I still am paranoid about them though. Are they okay to eat? I am having huge difficulties getting in enough calories and dates seem like the only option since they are calorie dense and small. The other thing that worries me is that they are very cheap! I got a kg of them for 4 or 5 dollars. That is good for me because I am a povo uni student, but I keep feeling like it is too good to be true???
Hey Emma, I struggle with the calories thing too, I did dates for a while, but they seem to mess up my tummy so I stopped and am now heavy on the nanas/smoothie train. I would check with Freelea or durianrider where they get their dates when they are in Oz. Hope it turns out well for you
I would not stress very much right now over whether or not they are the absolute freshest and best quality dates, especially if they are all you have access to right now.
If you were in North America I'd recommend www.ShieldsDateGarden.com for cheap quality dates, but in Australia I believe the only place to get them fresh would be from The Desert Fruit Company, I believe that's where Harley and Freelee get them when they are in Oz.
If you have access to buying bananas in bulk that makes it really easy too. Banana smoothies were my staple when I first got started on 811.
So if it's your only option for now, hands down I would go with the dates you have access to, but do some homework to see if you can get some higher quality fruit in the meantime.
The issue people have with dates typically is they are not hydrated enough before eating them. Dates are significantly lower in water than other fruit, so just drink more water accordingly. I like eating them with cucumbers and/or celery, and then still drinking plenty of water on top of that with them.
Best of luck Lenore! :D
Order from Shields Date Garden, The Date People or 7 Hot Dates.
Get Medjool, kalawy, hadrawi, or barhi.
Zahidi and deglet noor tend to be meatier and drier, and most people like gooey.
The dates you are buying at the store were left on the tree longer to dry. They are fine for you, they just are drier and so are harder to digest as they require more water. Try soaking them for a few hours before you eat them.
I just ordered 15 lbs of Barhi dates from Shields (no pesticides/chemical fertilizers) for $35 plus shipping. That's much cheaper per lb. than the ones at the store usually are, even including shipping.