Dates are bite-sized nuggets of nutrient-dense sweetness. I think of them as “all-natural candy.” They are rich in bioactive compounds that help fight inflammation and are an excellent addition to a sports diet. Athletes want to make a date to buy some dates! (I buy them in bulk at BJs.)
Dates are a yummy addition to salads and a stisfying-snack when combined with a smidgen of peanut butter. I add diced dates to my daily bowl of cereal. Medjool dates (a specific variety of dates that you might have seen in a red box in your supermarket fruit section) are particularly moist and creamy. They’ll quickly re-energize you after a hard workout and bring you back to life.
Sandwiches made with date-nut bread + peanut butter create a sports food that sticks to your ribs! Perfect for long bike rides and hiking trips. Here’s a family-favorite recipe for Date-Nut Bread. It’s available (along with many other recipes for tasty sports foods) in the recipe section of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
8 ounces dates, chopped
1.5 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup sugar
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2.5 cups flour, preferably half whole-wheat
- Put dates in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let stand until cool.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- Add oil, egg, sugar, salt, and walnuts to the dates. Beat well.
- Combine the baking soda and flour. Gently stir into the date mixture.
- Pour into a greased or wax-papered loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Enjoy with nut butter, lite cream cheese or just plain. It’s even better the second day (if it lasts that long).