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Medjool dates, also known as "the king of dates," are sweet, crave-worthy and even healthy. They're great for snacking as well as sweetening up nutritious smoothies.

Fresh dates will keep at room temperature for about 45 days. When stored in the refrigerator, they're good for up to 6 months. Frozen dates keep for up to a year.

Dried dates can be refrigerated for a year, or frozen for as long as 5 years.

Store dates in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, and label the bag with the date you bought them.

If the dates develop a dusty exterior over time, it simply means the sugars are making their way to the surface. If you feel the need, wipe off the sugar with a damp paper towel or heat the dates over a very low temperature.

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About the Author

Meg Jernigan

Native New Yorker Meg Jernigan stayed in Washington, D.C. after attending the George Washington University, and worked in the tourism industry with the National Park Service for many years. She’s a dedicated foodie with an extensive cookbook collection and years of experience in the kitchen. Jernigan’s recipes have been published online and in magazines like Southern Living.