Dates are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the Certified Farmers’ Market. Dates are delicious any time of the year, but they are an especially popular addition to holiday recipes of all kinds. Ours are all locally-grown, fresh and delicious. The Coachella Valley grows about ninety five per cent of the Dates that are grown in the United States, and small growers like the ones you’ll find at the market sell the bulk of their Dates locally. That means the Dates you buy at the markets are always fresh and at their peak of flavor. They are also pesticide-free, and some are organic.
Everyone knows Dates are delicious, but most people don’t realize how nutritious they are – so nutritious, in fact, that some nutritionists call them one of nature’s superfoods. Dates are free of saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium, and contain absolutely no cholesterol. Including them in a daily diet contributes to keeping a heart healthy as well. In fact, Dates are actually certified as heart healthy by the American Heart Association. Dates are also full of antioxidants, contain a variety of minerals (including calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, selenium and potassium), contain only natural sugars, and are a great source of dietary fiber.
Did You Know: Dates are one of the world’s oldest cultivated foods. There is actually archeological evidence in the Middle East (where Dates are thought to have originated) of date cultivation as far back 7000 BCE. Dates were also a favorite of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt (who ate them, but also used them to make wine!).
Price: $4.95 per pound and up; gift boxes ready for the holidays
Also in Season: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
The Certified Farmers Market is sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center. It operates in four locations, and on three different days of the week, as follows:
- On Saturdays in Palm Springs, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, adjacent to the Camelot Theatres in the Palm Springs Mall parking lot at 2300 E. Baristo Road at Farrell.
- On Saturdays in Coachella, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, at 1515 Sixth Street in front of City Hall.
- On Sundays in Old Town La Quinta, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at 78100 Main Street, just a few blocks west of La Quinta City Hall off Calle Tampico.
- On Wednesdays in Palm Desert, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce, 72-567 Highway 111.
Contact the Certified Farmers Market at 760.898.5250, 760-285-2630 (se habla Espanol), or visit us online at www.certifiedfarmersmarket.org.
The Palm Springs Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.