Thanks to their content of natural sugar as well as the filling properties, the favorite snack of many people is dried dates. Though you can buy fresh dates, as compared to dried dates, dried dates are stored more easily, have a much shelf-life that is longer, and are much more versatile.
Can dates be refrigerated? When you want to store dried dates, it depends on the amount of time you want them to be kept. Dried dates can be stored at room temperature on your pantry for about six months. If you want to refrigerate them, they can stay for about 12 months inside the fridge and about three years inside the freezer. You have to keep reading to get all we have for you to store your dates and also some answers for how you can store delicious palm fruits.
Do Dates Need to Be Refrigerated?
Irrespective of if dates are fresh or dried, they are needed to be kept in a fridge. It is clearly better to consume fresh dates immediately you buy them. Fresh dates are originated mainly from North Africa or the Middle East and it means they are transported a very long way to get to the supermarkets or markets. Because fresh dates are juicier as compared with dried dates, fresh dates tend to spoil much quicker. This means you need to keep your fresh dates inside your fridge if you aren’t eating them within one month. Some dry dates such as Deglet Noor dates are also needed to be stored in a refrigerator if you wish for its shelf life to be extended between six months and one year.
Apart from keeping the date in the fridge to preserve them for a long time, you also have another reason to ensure they are kept cold. The flavor tends to be retained when stored in the refrigerator. Dates can also last in your pantry, but when they are kept cold, the texture will not be affected and the delicious taste will also be kept for long.
Three Ways to Store Dried Dates
It is quite easy to store dates, you must, however, ensure that the right conditions are maintained, if not, there is no guarantee that the dates will not go bad. In case you are trying to decide the method of storage you want to use, what you need to first figure out is how much long you will like to keep them.
Storing in the Freezer
You surely know that the freezing of products extends their shelf life than any other method. Your dried dates can be kept in the freezer for about three years. Put the dates inside a plastic bag and proceed to squeeze out all excess air in the sealable bag. Ensure you allow some spaces between your dates because their sizes might expand as they freeze. An airtight container (plastic) can also be used instead of using the plastic bag. You can use plastic wrap to wrap your container to ensure double protection because the dates must not contact cold air.
Storing in the Refrigerator
If you want to retain the dates’ moisture, though it does not have much moisture, storing them in the refrigerator is your best bet. Fresh dates can be kept in a fridge for about one month while dried dates can be kept in a fridge for six to 12 months. It is quite suitable to purchase them in bulk and preserve them to use later. When you want to store your dried dates inside a fridge, put them inside a plastic container or bag and ensure you squeeze out all excess air so that it can be airtight. You should also ensure the bag is well sealed.
Storing in the Pantry
You could keep your dates in your pantry at room temperature if you add them to smoothies or if they are usually snacks you take regularly. Put the dry dates inside an airtight plastic, glass, or container and allow it to be in a very dry environment. Dried dates have a shelf-life of six months when allowed to be at room temperature. For fresh and semi-dry dates, they can only be kept at room temperature for about four to six weeks. Ensure you check the production date and the date of expiration when you want to buy dried dates. If you don’t have the plans to finish your dates within a few weeks, then you should keep them at a colder temperature.
Do Dates Go Bad?
You can be rest assured that your dates will not spoil quickly because they are types of fruits that will not spoil that quickly. You can store them for over one month at a normal condition of temperature and can be stored for over one year inside a freezer. If you refuse to keep them stored in the correct conditions, they are likely to eventually spoil.
Dates are classified to contain just 30% of moisture, making it have very low moisture content when compared with some other fruits. The content of water within diminishes as dates dry up. The reason why they can be stored in a variety of temperatures for a very long time is that they are classified mainly as sugar.
How to Tell If Dates Have Gone Bad
Though dates may not get spoilt quickly, you should still be aware of the signals of when you should eat them or you should not. Check out the various signs that can help you know whether your dates have spoilt or you can still eat them.
Before you proceed to store your dates, smell them in case you are completely new when considering dates. When you smell prior to storing, you can tell any difference in smell by the time you remove them from your fridge or pantry. Dates barely have a mild noticeable smell, they usually do not smell strong. In case you are able to detect an unpleasant strong smell, you might want to throw them away.
Bugs and other creatures
There could be a variety of unwanted guests on your vegetables, fruits, as well as dates. This is very common. This may be the major reason why people try to open up the dates before they take a bite. Dates grown are organically will likely attract more worms and bugs. This means you must try to inspect your dates closely before taking a bite or add to a smoothie. In case you see an unwanted guest in any of your dates, it doesn’t mean that you should discard the entire pack. You have to pay close attention, inspect them all closely, and remove the ones that are affected. You should know that you could at times buy dates that could accidentally be bad, but a key thing involved is the storage.
Dates might attract insects. If you want to keep them in the container, ensure you do not allow it to be left open. You usually keep dates safely in cold storage or your fridge by placing inside a Ziploc-bag that is well sealed.
Color changes and mold
Your dates usually will not grow mold due to their low content of water, there has to be something special attached to it if they go moldy. If they are kept in humidity, there is a likelihood that mold will grow on it. If they can be kept in the fridge or pantry, the growing mold will not happen. If you take note that the color of your dates has become darker, you should throw the dates away. Dates that turn to white color are usually safe to consume.
How Do You Store Medjool Dates?
Many people love to take Medjool dates because of the plump and sweet texture. Medjool dates very popular and it could be the reason they are considered ‘the king of dates’ by many lovers of dates. To store Medjool dates, you can use the methods and shelf life that are similar to other varieties. You can keep the fresh ones in the pantry for about seven weeks, in your refrigerator for about six months and in a freezer for about one year.
Dried Medjool dates tend to shelf life that is much longer. If kept in an airtight container (plastic) that is well protected by wrapping plastic wraps around them, they could stay for about three to five years.
Why Do Dates Develop A White Cast?
You could get intimidated or disturbed by white casts covering the dates when it has stayed for a long time if you are not familiar with dates. It is a natural phenomenon that happens to dates because dates contain sugar in high contents. The white cast is classified as sugar specs, i.e. sugar content migrating to the fruit’s surface. It is not risky to the health to take white dates, but if you are not comfortable with it, you can solve it in two possible ways.
- Put your dates inside a sealable plastic bag before you place them in your microwave between 30 and 45 seconds. Remember to create steam by pouring some water drops so that the dates will return to normal conditions.
- You can also place them in the sun until the white cast fully disappears.
You could also microwave so that the dates can soften.