How to Soften Dates (Using 4 Simple Methods)

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You are not alone if you have ever pondered how to soften a date. This post will solve that issue as well as present you with some delicious date-based dishes to try at home.

By the end of this article, you’ll know precisely how to soften dates and have several recipes to utilize them in.

First, let’s define dates, followed by the reasons for softening them in the first place.

What Are Dates?

Dates are a sort of fruit that originated in the Middle East but are now eaten by people all around the world. The two most prevalent types of dates are Medjool and Deglet Noor, with the Medjool variety being sweeter than the Deglet Noor cousin.

Dates are fairly sweet and are often used to add natural sugar to smoothies. Dates provide several health advantages, including high fiber content, the capacity to help manage blood sugar levels, and support for greater bone health. They also make excellent natural laxatives, so try eating some dates the next time you have bowel movement problems for a natural treatment.

Why Soften Your Dates?

If you consume dried dates without first softening them, you may become ill since it is more difficult for your body to absorb them this way. Raw, unsoftened dates are also unpleasant to the teeth.

Along with these considerations, softening your dates allows the sugars to be fully released in any dish you use them in. It also makes them simpler to include into dishes like smoothies.

How to Soften Your Dates

There are a few techniques you may use to soften up those stiff, wrinkled dates. This section will go through each one in depth so you can choose which strategy is best for you.

1 – Hot Water

Tossing your dates into a saucepan or bowl of boiling water is a quick and efficient way to soften them. This is most likely the most prevalent method utilized by folks who want to soften their dates.

Allow the fruit to soak in hot or even boiling water for approximately 10 minutes, then check to see if it is soft enough. Some dates, particularly older and tougher ones, may take 30 minutes to a few hours to soften, so bear this in mind before removing them from the water.

When your dates are nice and mushy, gently remove them from the boiling water, let them cool, and then use them for anything you like.

2 – Soak Overnight

Another method for softening dates with water is to soak them in room temperature water overnight.

This softens and squishes them, allowing them to more effectively impart sweetness to your meal, snack, or smoothie. This is certainly not a perfect strategy for individuals who need to soften their dates quickly, but it works well for those who are not in a rush.

3 – Microwave

You may use your microwave to soften your dates quickly if you have one at home. Place the dates on a microwave-safe pan and cook for about a minute on high.

Check them every 10 seconds to prevent accidently overheating them and turning them rubbery and chewy. Also, remember that if you cut your dates before microwaving them, they will likely soften faster.

4 – Steam

Steaming dates is an additional method for softening them.

Fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil. lay the dates in a colander or steamer basket, if you have one, and lay them in the saucepan before covering with a lid.

Allow the steam to soften your dates for around five minutes before removing them from the hot steam. They should be soft and ready to consume or add to a smoothie immediately.

Recipes Featuring Dates

Dates may be sliced and tossed into salads, eaten plain, or blended into smoothies and other dishes. This section will provide you some suggestions on how to utilize your softened dates.

Check out the recipes for a smoothie, a date roll, and goat cheese and bacon dates below.

Banana Chocolate Smoothie

Dates may give a natural sweetness to any smoothie, but this one with chocolate and bananas is particularly delightful with dates included.

The following are the ingredients for this smoothie:

  • 3 dates, pitted and softened
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup milk (or milk alternative)
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

After softening your dates, combine the following items in a blender, chopping up the dates as desired. Blend the ingredients for around 30 seconds before pouring the smoothie into a large glass.

If desired, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and whipped cream for extra sweetness.

Date and Nut Roll

This nutty-delicious date roll is the ideal holiday or anytime appetizer, and it can be used as a spread for crackers or savored on its own. Here’s everything you’ll need to get started:

  • 2 cups dates, chopped, pitted, and softened
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Once you’ve collected your ingredients, toast the chopped almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios in a skillet over medium heat for approximately 30 seconds, or until gently browned. Then, add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast them for a few seconds before removing the pan from the heat and leaving it aside.

Then, over low heat, add the softened dates and butter to the same, but now empty, pan. Allow the butter and dates to cook in the pan for a few minutes while stirring frequently, then add the cardamom powder, raisins, toasted almonds, and sesame seeds.

Allow the mixture to simmer for another minute before removing it from the heat to cool enough to combine the ingredients by hand and roll it into a log. You may create your log of nuts and dates on a surface of plastic wrap or wax paper, then set it in the fridge to cool before diving in.

Goat Cheese and Bacon Dates

Many people prefer goat cheese, and many more enjoy bacon, so why not mix the two? What’s more, when you combine these two components with dates, you get a sweet, salty, creamy, and savory combination that’s hard to top.

You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe, as well as some toothpicks to pierce through your date treats:

  • 24 dates, softened
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 4-ounce package goat cheese, softened
  • 1 jalapeo
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

The first step is to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it warm while you put together your delectable mini nibbles. You may also line a baking sheet with wax paper at this step to prevent the bacon-wrapped dates from sticking.

After that, cut each piece of bacon in half to make 24 slices, one for each date. Following that, mince the jalapeo and put it in a dish with the four ounces of melted goat cheese.

After that, cut your softened dates in half but do not cut all the way through, gently remove their pits, and fill each one with the goat cheese and jalapeo mixture before firmly sealing them. Then, wrap the filled dates in bacon, drive a toothpick in each, and arrange them on a baking sheet before sprinkling with cayenne pepper.

Your bacon-wrapped, goat cheese-filled date snacks should be done in about 20 minutes after you placed them in the oven. When the bacon is crispy and done, take it from the oven and serve it once it has cooled.

Final Thoughts

Softening dates is easy and fast, yet it may make a big difference in how sweet a dish or smoothie turns out. There’s no reason you shouldn’t soften your dates before using them, so use this article as a guide to ensure your dates properly impart that delicious taste you desire.


How do you soften dates quickly?

Soak in Warm or Hot Water

Place the dates in a basin. Pour in enough hot or boiling water to cover the dates, then soak for 10 minutes. Remove the dates from the water. The dates should be soft and ready to use at this point.

How do you soften dates before blending?

If your dates are really dry or you don’t have a powerful blender, soaking them in warm water for 30 minutes to an hour before blending will make things lot easier on your blender and result in a smoother final product.

How long can you soak dates in water?

Dates to soak duration

The sweet spot is believed to require at least 8 hours but no more than 12 hours since soaking dates for too long may cause the fermentation process to begin and produce alcohol instead.

How do you soften dates with baking soda?

To soften dates, put dates, boiling water, and baking soda in a basin; set aside for 30 minutes, or until lukewarm.

Why do you soak dates in baking soda?

The dates that had been steeped in baking soda were sweeter and had a stronger flavor. So I have to agree with this statement I discovered, that baking soda likely neutralizes tannins generated by the dates, which would otherwise cause an astringency in the cake.

Should dates be soaked or not?

They include phytic acid, which makes it simpler for humans to absorb nutrients from them. Soaking also makes them laghu (easily digestible),” explains Dr. Bhavsar.WHY SHOULD DATES BE SOAKED? “Tannins are removed by soaking.”

Does soaking dates make them easier to blend?

What’s the point of soaking the dates? Soaking softens and gooeys them, making mixing a snap! If you start with really soft dates, such as fresh medjool dates, you may probably skip the soaking and simply combine them with a little of warm water.

How do you break dry dates?

To break and de-seed the dates, use a mortar and pestle. Then, lay the chopped dates on a dish and let them dry for 7-10 days. The well-sundried date slices should readily break. Grind the dates in a mixer grinder.

How do you blend dry dates?

Dates should be peeled and roughly chopped. Place the chopped dry dates on a platter, arrange them, and sun-dry them for 2-3 days. The sun dried dry dates should readily break and shatter. Transfer to a dry mixer jar and blend until smooth.

Should dates be soaked in milk or water?

Warm milk should be poured to the dates, which should be left in the milk for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors of the milk. Before serving, the dates should be properly combined with the milk. You may also do so for further health benefits. Dates should be soaked overnight in milk.

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