Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Foodie Friday: Dates
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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While certainly not the most attractive fruit, dates might just be the energy-boosting fruit that you’re missing out on!  Date palms are among the oldest cultivated trees, having been grown in North America for at least 8,000 years.  Classified according to their moisture content  (soft, semisoft, dry), most varieties found in North America are semisoft (fresh) and dry.  They are rich in nutrients and minerals, and make a great snack or addition to meals.  I first became more interested in them after getting hooked on LARABARS, a favorite energy bar of mine that are date-based – try these if you’re brand-new to dates!


Dates are a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, niacin and vitamin B6, and low in cholesterol and fat, with only 24 calories per date!  One serving of dates (5-6) provides 3 grams of dietary fiber, helping you satisfy your sweet cravings for under 150 calories!  Dates are also known for being a great natural source of potassium – three times that of bananas.   Potassium and sodium work together in the body to regulate water levels and heart function, so a good balance of these in your diet can help to keep your body systems in tip-top shape.  The sucrose, fructose and glucose in dates also help to contribute to its instant energy available from these tiny gems – perfect for workout fuel or just a filling snack!

Adding Dates to Your Diet:dates

  • Select dates that are even in color and fleshy – avoid the dry, shriveled looking ones
  • Did you know?  5-6 dates or a ¼ cup of chopped dates is one serving of fruit
  • Grab a small handful of dates as some pre-workout fuel before heading to the gym, or dice some on top of your morning Greek yogurt
  • Toss some chopped dates in your next baking adventure – add them to cookies, tarts, breads, or the classic date square!
  • Try stuffing the dates (after removing the seed) with almonds or goat cheese for a new appetizer when entertaining

Mitzi’s Honey-Cherry Energy Bars

Serves 6


1 cup whole raw almonds

½ cup honey

½ cup dried cherries

3 tablespoons coconut

6 dates (pitted)


In a high-powered blender, blend honey, cherries, coconut, almonds, and dates. Blend on high and stir as needed. Spray a 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put your mixture in the baking dish and flatten out bars with a piece of plastic wrap on top to prevent sticking. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Have you tried dates?  What is your favorite way to enjoy them?

Assistance provided by Megan Skinner

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