This Is the Best Way to Revive Stale Dates

published May 24, 2017
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

If you’ve ever brought a package of dates home, on at least one occasion you’ve probably pulled them out to find them looking kind of crystallized on the outside and way more firm than you remember. Am I right? Here’s the thing about dates — these sweet fruits continue to dry out (and eventually harden up) as they age. It happens when they’re stored properly, and even faster when they’re not. They’re still perfectly good, though, so don’t toss them. You just need to revive them and bring them back to life. Here’s the best way to do it.

Soak in Hot Water to Revive Stale Dates

While there are several ways to soften stale or extra-firm dates. This simple method quickly delivers the best results every time. Without fail, just a few minutes of soaking in hot water transforms once-hard dates into fruits with an incredibly soft and tender texture.

Here’s How to Try It for Yourself

To get started you’ll need a bowl or large measuring cup for the dates and enough boiling water to fully cover the fruit.

Place just the amount of dates you plan to use in a bowl, then cover with boiling water to fully submerge the fruit. Let the dates soak for about 10 minutes, then and then strain the fruit and discard the water. The fruit will be more plump, juicy, and soft. Want to give your dates even more flavor? Trade water for fruit juice or liquor, like brandy, bourbon, or rum.

Soaking the dates returns lost moisture to the fruit and softens the flesh, leaving them with the same super-sweet flavor. Taking a few minutes to soften stale dates makes them way more enjoyable to eat out of hand and easier to blend into drinks and sauces.

Our Favorite Recipes to Make with Dates