Fresh Dates vs. Dried Dates
Dates are one of the most delicious sweeties in the fruits world. There are so many different varieties of dates out there that make it hard to choose. Besides, they are sold in both fresh and dried forms. Have you ever wondered about the difference between these two forms of Dates?
Wonder no more! In this article, you are going to find out about this difference.
You can find out more about dates and their history on our other blog posts on Everything about Dates: What are Dates and what do they taste like?, History of Dates and Health Benefits of Dates, different types of Dates, How to Choose the Perfect Date (fruit).
Dates go through four stages of development:
Chimri or Kimri stage
Time: the first 17 weeks after pollination
Color and taste: green, hard, bitter
Content: 80% moisture, 50% sugars (glucose and fructose)
The Medjool variety is harvested in the Kimri stage at about 9 to 12 weeks. 60% to 70% of the raw fruit is taken off. This allows the remaining fruit to grow extra-large.
Time: the next 6 weeks: become full-grown
Color and taste: still hard; color changes to yellow, orange or red
Content: sugars increase, mostly sucrose;
A few varieties can be harvested in the Khalal stage and be eaten in their hard yellow or red state, but most of them are totally astringent, like a raw persimmon. Some producers freeze Khalals to eliminate astringency.
Barhi and Desert Gem are two kinds that are very good in their original, unfrozen state. Khalal dates are sliced and packed on the string they grow on. Given the proper conditions, they will proceed to ripen into the Rutab stage.
Time: the next 4 weeks
Color and taste: half-ripe; soften, light brown
Content: some sucrose reverts to reducing sugar which increases prominence.
Soft date varieties can be very juicy in the Rutab stage, which is called “wet” in North America. Dates can be harvested like this, but are too delicate and need to be handled very carefully.
Time: the last 2 weeks
Color and Taste: ripe and soft dates, brown to black-brown
Content: the sugar becomes mostly reducing sugar; semi-dry and dry dates will have nearly 50% each of sucrose and reducing sugars.
If left to hang on the trees another two to three weeks, Dates will go into their Tamar stage. The Tamar dates are still soft but have a lower moisture content than Rutab.
Most dates are harvested in the Tamar stage.
Now let’s get back to our intended topic, what are the main differences between fresh and dried dates? Fresh and dried dates are different in six things:
Dry dates have less moisture so they can stay fresh for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, fresh dates have a shorter shelf-life of 8-10 months.
Dry dates will remain fresh for almost 5 years if properly stored.
In the shelf-life round of the battle, dried dates get on top!
The moisture content in dates reduces with ripening and drying. When the moisture level decreases, the natural sugar in dates concentrates, which enhances caloric content.
- 100 grams of dried dates contain about 280 calories.
- 100 grams of fresh dates contain less than 145 calories.
So, if you are counting calories to drop some weight, you can consume the fresh dates, and on the other hand, if you are trying to gain some extra weight, you should start eating dried dates immediately!
In the calorie battle of dried vs fresh dates, there cannot be a single winner because it varies from person to person.
Fresh dates and the dried ones contain almost the same amount of nutrients, which is very high by the way! They contain “Iron” which can keep your blood healthy, potassium for your heart, magnesium which reduces the risk of diabetes and vitamin A for your bright eyes.
Although they are great to consume, they contain high levels of fruit sugar (fructose) which can cause some problems in long-term use.
So, there is not much of a significant difference between the nutrients of dried dates and fresh dates. Let’s call it a tie.
Macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in the largest amounts such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
The macronutrient content is different between fresh and dried dates. While fat and protein only differ slightly, the carbohydrate content in dried dates is twice the amount of fresh date carbs.
- A (3.5 oz) serving of dried dates contains 2.8 g of protein, 0.6 g of fat, 76 g of carbohydrates and 5 g of fiber.
- A (3.5 oz) serving of fresh dates contains 1.8 g of protein, 1 g of fat, 37 g of carbohydrates and 3.5 g of fiber.
Micronutrients are the nutrients that your body needs in smaller amounts, such as vitamins and minerals.
Dried dates are a better source of iron and calcium than fresh dates.
Fresh dates are a better source of vitamin C.
A serving (3.5 oz) of dried dates contains about 82 mg of calcium, 8 mg Iron and 0mg vitamin C.
Vitamin C is not stable and can be destroyed by storage and heat. This is why dried dates contain less vitamin C compared to fresh dates.
Dates are rich in fiber which can reduce constipation and relieves the stomach. Dry dates contain a higher fiber content compared to fresh dates, so they can be more helpful to stomachaches and gut issues.
Dates are one of the most beneficial fruits that should be included in our diets. It doesn’t matter fresh or dried, they are all perfect. The only major difference is between their calories and fiber contents.
So, we suggest that if you’re trying to lose weight, consume fresh dates and exercise on a regular basis, because its carbs, vitamins, and proteins can keep you filled for a longer period of time.
Or if you want to gain weight, dry dates can help you with that due to their high calorie amount.
So just choose the one that suits you and start consuming this wonderful healthy fruit.