Top Five: Things to do with Leftover Dates

Most recipes with dates only use a handful, leaving you with half of a container sitting around. What can you do with the leftover dates? Oh, we can think of a few things...

Besides eating them straight from the box, here are our top five favorite things to do with leftover dates:

1. Add them to oatmeal: You can add a handful of chopped dates after the oatmeal is already cooked, or you can try cooking the dates along with the oatmeal. As Faith showed in her recipe for Steel-Cut Oats with Dates, Coconut, Cinnamon, and Pecans, the dates practically melt into the oats during cooking. You won't even need any sweetener!

2. Sprinkle them over salads: Chewy nuggets of date add both flavor and texture to an every-day dinner salad.

3. Make stuffed dates: This is super easy and one of our go-to appetizers. Cut a slit in the side, pull out the date seed, and then stuff the cavity with an almond and some goat cheese. You can eat them as is or broil them for a few minutes until they're toasty. You can also serve them drizzled with honey or wrapped in proscuitto.

4. Add them to a pilaf: Dates make an unexpected alternative to raisins in a savory rice pilaf.

5. Use them in another recipe: This sounds very obvious, and well, it is! There are tons of great recipes using dates out there, from sweet cookies to savory braises. Here are a few of our favorites:

Sticky Toffee Cakelets
Sunflower Date Cookies
Spiced Apple Cider Sopu with Sweet Potato Dumplings, Quince, and Dates
Braised Chicken with Saffron Onions, Italian Cous Cous, and Dates from Cookstr
Braised Beef Shortribs (with Dates) from Saveur

How else do you use up leftover dates?

Related: Top Five Things to do with Leftover Ricotta

(Image: Flickr member Stu Spivack licensed under Creative Commons)

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