When plump, sweet dates are a little past their prime and start to get dry, it’s easy to remoisten them, bringing them back to their juicy goodness. Native to the Middle East, dates are fruits of the date palm tree and look somewhat like giant raisins, but have a much sweeter taste and smoother texture. Dates that are starting to dry out will form sugar crystals on the surface as the moisture is escaping. Simple methods of adding moisture back into the dates will get rid of the crystallization and make the dates look and taste as good as new.
Paper Towel Method
Wet a paper towel under running water briefly so that it is damp, but not completely soaking. Wring it out well.
Wipe each dry date all over with the damp paper towel, removing the sugar crystals that have formed as they dried out.
Wrap the dates up in the paper towel and let them sit for a few minutes wrapped up to infused them with a little more moisture.
Fill a small pot with a few inches of water and fit a steamer basket or adjustable colander inside the pot. The water should reach just below the basket.
Bring the water to boil. Add the dates to the steamer basket or colander once it starts to boil and sprinkle lightly with water. Cover the pot.
Steam the dates for about 3 to 5 minutes, covered, until they have sufficiently remoistened to your liking and any sugar crystals on the surface have dissolved.
Fill a small spray bottle with water.
Spray the dates lightly with the spray bottle of water on all sides.
Wait a few minutes for the dates to absorb the water, then spray a little more, as needed until they reach the moisture levels you desire. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to drizzle water over the dates if you don’t have a spray bottle.
You can spray your dates with other liquids such as milk, fruit juice and wine as you are moistening them to enhance the flavor of the dates before consuming.
References and ResourcesBBC Good Food: Date
The Kitchn: What's The Deal With Dates?
Fruits and Veggies More Matters: Dates
Mecca Date Farm: Frequently Asked Questions
Eat Drink Be Merry Magazine: Royal Medjool Dates
Oregon State University Extension Service: Enjoying Home Dried Fruits and Vegetables
Joy of Cooking; Irma S. Rombauer et al.,