A Date With Date Palms!

The date palm tree with the scientific name of Phoenix Dactylifera L. that is generally cultivated and domesticated in the Middle East, North and central Africa, southern and southeast Asia; where in Arabia and Morocco alone more than 40 varieties of dates are grown, the dates grows in huge bunches with giant trees producing a good harvest of more than 1000 dates every year, the cultivation of date palms, dates back to over 2000 years and has been consumed for over 6000 years. The date palms is an evergreen tree that can thrive for over 200 productive years, it is known to start fruiting at an average age of 5 years beginning from the moment the seed is planted.
The date fruits are harvested dry or semi-dry, fresh or soft and it is in the shape of a drupe also varying in shapes, sizes, colors, quality, texture and an excellent flavoring for dishes. Dates are berry that contain just a single seed, naturally demarcated vertically in the middle which is enclosed by a fibrous white to pale color cloak like endocarp, it’s sweet fleshy and chewy pulp is mesocarp while the fruit outer skin is pericarp, the dates is shaped oblong while others are spherical.
Dates are relish as one of natures sweet fruits and so do some animals, it is a well known fact that the Arabs living in the Sahara desert feed their camels, horses, and dogs with the dates as food. Saudi Arabia is one of the highest and most important countries in the world for the date palm cultivation and production, still growing and going strong with about 340 to 2000 varieties; amongst the highest date palms producing countries are Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates. Although Nigeria is into the cultivation of the date palm trees with the establishment of the date palms orchard domesticated in some states across the country yet it can not be placed among the highest producing nations globally, but it is listed amongst the highest importer of the dates fruits.

The date palm is a very popular sweet snack for the people of the northern region in Nigeria; a means of livelihood that generates a good income not only for the farmers but buyers and sellers alike especially during the dry season when all other sources of making money are not forth coming and businesses are bad; therefore the dates business carves out a market space for the youth and the elderly to find a decent job to engage in. The date palms trees provide the edible fruits that is sweet and satiate fast the hunger of anyone hence provide food security and nutrition during harsh cropping season such as drought and providing sustenance during the hunger gap or season when food reserves has finished and food are expensive which is a general occurrence at the beginning of the cropping season.
The date palms in northern Nigeria is a booming business straight from the farm orchards where the dates are domesticated and in other places where dates fruits are sold; the dry season finds a lot of going on in the buying and selling of the dates which are always seen displayed on a high wooden table that has been crafted specially for the display of the dates fruits, such dates counters are found on major roads,  market places,  and business centers where the dates are carefully and daintily arranged in a pyramid like heaps, it is covered with a transparent or white cellophane sheets to protect and prevent impurities because the date fruits easily attracts flies due to its sticky sweet nectar. On the edges of the table are different sizes of the measuring cups or bowls made of aluminum, iron or plastic; various varieties of the date fruits beckoning for interested customers and consumers who find it difficult to pass by without buying some, after the usual greetings and bargaining the exchange of money follows, the cups or bowls are used to scoop out the date palms into a transparent cellophane bag that is popularly used to package the dates for the buyers while for bulk purchase it is placed in the black cellphone shopping bags with the seller often times adding some handful of the dates as a bonus or addition known as “gara” in Hausa tribes of Nigeria.
Date hawkers are seen strategically positioned at places of worships such as the mosques on Friday’s or during the Ramadan, month of fasting and in other places the dates are sold all around in wheelbarrows by young and middle aged men while the boys of age 7-9 years old go into the neighbors households to visit family homes in search of interested buyers for the few wraps of dates carried on colorful trays.
The dates palm for northern Nigeria is a money spinner because it brings in an impressive income that is financially rated higher than other food crops during the dry season and its economic value has great potential in the international market while its importance in the region are many helping to control desertification, the date fruits long shelf life assist in making available the food crop for a long time, while the date palm trees aids other crops with a favorable climate for growth and an increased in the various food crop yields. The date palms are beautifully and decoratively used as landscapes plants in many public buildings all over Nigeria such as hotels, shopping malls, office complex and prestigious buildings.

Dates food health culture africa nigeria
Dates food health culture africa nigeria

Growing Dates Palm Trees
The date palm trees are blessed and beautiful, it is a tree to plant around the homestead or household gardens for its unique beauty and cooling shelter which shades and helps to protect the people and the environment.
There are about 20 varieties of the dates grown around the world for commercial purposes, with the most popular known as the Medjool date generally referred to as the king of all the dates because it is sweet, moist, semisoft but firm in texture. The date trees are either male or female hence it’s seeds must be planted with each of the gender of male to a female or several females for it to bear fruits. The dates seeds are so hard that it can stay buried and dormant for several years when germinating conditions are not favorable; a date tree planted from seed will produce dates fruit in at least 8 years, thriving very well if the weather is temperate or in the hot Savannah climate but the same can not be said in a cooler climate where the palms trees may fail to produce dates fruits; the cloned trees produce fruits in 4 years. It is best to choose a sunny location and plant the dates seedlings by its gender or plant its seed until its tender shouts shoot up then move it for replanting at a larger location by digging a hole in the earth that is big enough to hold the roots, subsequently growing to a height of 50 feet tall and about 30 feet across. The date palms cultivation is a tasking and demanding job  that needs a lot of attention and proper handling to produce fruits, both fresh and dried dates all have pitts that will grow if planted. Do not over irrigate the seedlings, all it needs is the seasonal rainfall for watering, It is advisable to seek and plant one male and one female or several female because a single male will help fertilize many other female trees these must be done in order to get dates fruit from the trees.
Naturally the dates palm tree are pollinated by wind when in the wild or in the Arid Zone of the Savanna but if planting is done in a garden orchard then it is necessary to pollinate by using the hands which is so simple, that all it takes is to gather the male pollen when it is ready and as the female flowers open up for in full bloom quickly dust it over with the male pollen.
As the trunk of the dates palm tree matures a long spiny thorns grows along it, to prevent injury from its spikes, snip off the thorns along the trunk which has no adverse impacts on the tree but goes further to beautify the trunk of the dates palm tree. When the dates begins to set, pick out the smaller fruits to thin it out before ripening, in order to have a good harvest; dates do not get ripe all together at the same time within the same cluster or bunch of fruits, therefore harvesting the ripe fruits becomes inevitable. It is best to pluck or harvest the ripen dates fruits to avoid it falling off or to wrap it up with a mesh to collect the falling ripe fruits. Store fresh dates for weeks in the refrigerator or keep it frozen for several months in the freezer; the best preservation for the dates fruits is to dry it stone hard before storage, slice open each date fruits and dehydrate in the dehydrator or oven but if unavailable spread out on a raffia mat and cover up with a mesh to keep out the insects and dry it in the sun until stone hard in order to prevent molds forming and to prevent decaying of the date fruits. Transfer into airtight containers or jar and store for several months in a cool and dry place, use when needed as a dry fruits snack or incorporate in recipes of choice.
Enjoy the sweet delight of the oasis, oozing out the nectar of delightful sweetness.

Tapping The Date Palms Trees
The date palm tree is a source of palm sap, it is collected by making an incision on the upper parts of the tree trunk through which the sweet sap will ooze out into a collection pot, jar or jug. The palm tapping ban has been for a long time, a controversial topic of discussion on the ground that it may lead to alcoholic abuse and addiction on religious point of view and also for the protection of national food source which is believed if allowed to continue may cause a decline in food supply. The tapping of the dates palm trees deprives it of its productive leaves and food reserves which may take an average of 3 years for the date palm trees to bear fruits again while often times the tree may eventually die if not done by an experienced tapper. It is a case of killing two birds with one stone because for the tappers the dates palm trees gives it’s fruits and also offers sugar which is the sucrose containing sap; it is done by removing all leaves and then the top of the trunk is cut into a cone shape at its base a canal is again cut around it which the sap then oozes out from, guided by the cone and then it is collected through a sprout like a funnel that was made, for the sap to flow slowly into the waiting earthenware jar that has been earlier hung on the side of the palm tree; a palm fiber or hand crafted inverted basket is placed over the cone to prevent the sun drying out the slowly dropping sap of nectar. The sap takes several days to a week to be done with its collection but twice daily the tapper must climb to collect the juicy sap and to shave another thin slice off the tissue of the cone’s surface in order to prevent the vessel from drying out. After the collection of the sap it is immediately smoked in order to keep down the yeast formation by placing the collecting earthenware jar head down on burning leaves before the sap is used or to drop in some lime, done in order to reduce the sugar inversion and to produce high quality Jaggery or organic brown sugar. The next process is to filter the sap in order to get rid of the lime residues; the processing of the sap produces the sugar syrup, a  large sugar crystals or candy can be made, crystallize sugar and molasses can also be process or the Jaggery obtained which consists of boiling down the sap until it is crystallized.
The processing starts with the boiling of the sap in an earthenware pots, the leaves of the palm trees serves as the fuel to fire up the smoldering flames in the tripod locally made fireplaces and depending on what is to be processed into, a starter is added into the boiling sap for it to set into a gel-like consistency after which it is poured into mold in order to cool down and crystallized, which subsequently forms a light brown block of sugar popularly known as Jaggery. The sugar made from date palms sap is different from the dates sugar or dates powder because the later is made out of grounded whole dates whereas the former that is the sap sugar is made from the sap of the dates palms, easy and fast dissolving, therefore both are healthier alternative to white sugar.

Date Palm Hard Seeds 
The date seeds are waste that is available where dates are packed or processed, the seeds are hard and it is difficult to digest hence it is necessary to process the seeds. The hard seed coat never goes to waste, after date stoning or the dates pitted for use in date paste, powder or sugar; hard or germinated date seeds are gathered for used as animal feeds after crushing or grinding, then further processing with alkali treatments in order to increase digestibility, it is a source of bio-oil with important antioxidant properties that is valuable in cosmetic products and cooking oil, the processed seeds are also a good alternative for coffee beans in manufacturing of a variety of products.
The environmental benefits of the date palm trees are enormous, farmers are known to recycle and reuse all by-products of date production and processing; most of the residues are used as raw materials in creating and recreating household furniture, items, tools and building materials whereby the date palm seeds are natural solutions for pollution control due to its excellent absorbing properties, competing favorably well with activated carbon and also beneficial for water treatment from toxins in water purification.

The Date Palms Bio-Oil
The dates seeds is loaded with oil, protein and carbohydrates with a lot of vital minerals, rich in dietary fiber also; the date seed oil is used for nutritional reasons in cooking meals, used for the making of spread or margarine for pastry and baked goodies.
The process of extraction
After the collection of the seeds wash thoroughly and separate from impurities then dehydrated. It is cooked and then grate into flakes, a special machine expeller is used to squeezed out the oil in the flaked seeds, further processing involves the addition and mixing in of an organic solvent to squeezed out the remaining oil in the seeds chaff or fiber; a amazing opportunities abound in the dates palm seeds for animal feeds and for bio-oil.
After extraction the oil is purified to rid it of toxicity of the organic solvents which may have an adverse effects on the human body. The dates palm seed oil is reddish brown in color with an excellent load of oleic acid which comprises of monounsaturated fatty acid of Omega9 fatty acid which has health benefits in strengthening the human brain and the heart.

Significance Of Date Palms
The dates palm tree is as important to Islam as its fruits, historically it is believed that the first mosque was adorned with the date palm trees and in the Islamic teachings paradise is an amazing place which has never been seen by a living soul but religiously believed to be a place flowing with milk and honey, with beautiful fruits and plants such as the palm trees; all over the Islamic nations, it is customary to eat 3 dates for the breaking of the Ramadan fast during iftar and the potency of Islamic medicine is found in the use of the date fruits. The Ramadan fasting for Muslims around the world follow the religious tradition and teachings of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as saying that “when one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for the water is purifying.” The Dates palms are known as “The bread of the desert” in the east for its fiber richness and excellent energy value; thus making it vital to serve the dates known as “tmar” in arabic or “dabino” in Hausa for the breaking of the fast during iftar when the sun has set. The place of the dates in the lives of Muslims can not be overemphasized because the dates fruits is mentioned severally in the Holy Qur’an for its healthy and purifying benefits to the human body; the dates palm is most favored by many Muslims for “tahneek” which is a Muslim tradition of giving or rubbing a sweet such as the date fruit into the mouth of a newborn as the very first meal. The earlier houses of prophet Muhammad and his wives were made of palm leaves or fronds, palm trunks and mud bricks with furnishings of mats weaved out of the palm fronds.
The first Muslims mosque crafted by the ancient architectures was built with mud bricks and palm fronds, while the giant columns were made of palm trunks. The dates palm is almost everything for Saudi Arabia and in the love for the dates palm trees its image has been engrave as part of their emblem, historically in the holy books the dates palm tree is a sign of an oasis close by as a source of water below it when Mary the mother of Jesus was told by the angel to look up and feed her baby with the dates; whereby the date palm trees grows abundantly near Jordan, close to the dead sea in the Israeli desert.
Coincidentally the two major religion of Islam and Christianity are both observing the fast in the month of April, Ramadan fasting for the Muslims and the Lent for the Christians; fasting in Islam is a must for adult Muslims who fall under the categories of those obligated to fast during the holy month whereas for the Christians it is obligated upon the Catholic faith and for other Christians it is matter of choice NOT compulsory.
The Christian tradition of using the palms frond hold a much more significant and holy prestige because it is believed that palm branches were laid before Jesus Christ (pbuh) when he rode into Jerusalem reason to why the palm frond are burnt and its ashes used on ash Wednesday before the commencement of the lent fast.
Christian churches that observe lent use it as a time for prayer and penance, while some believers observe the lent by fasting away from their favorite foods or habits as a test of self discipline, deprivation and reflection to mark the sacrifice of Jesus Christ 40 days fasting in the wilderness. The lent which is the period of fasting from food and festivities for 40 days beginning on Ash Wednesday in some Christian churches starts off with special services which is a day of penitence to clean the soul before the lent fast, during which worshippers are marked on the forehead with a sign of the cross with ashes made by burning palm frond crosses from the previous palm Sunday, hence begins the 40 days of fasting with the ancient tradition in the Holy Bible of covering the head with ashes, wearing sackcloth and fasting thereby ending on Good Friday; Fasting for the Christians involves giving up foods that has blood in it such as meat, fish, fats, eggs, dairy products. The date palm was mentioned in the holy Bible as the “tree of life” and the Greek words for dates is “daktulos” meaning “fingers” and the use of dates as meal in breaking the lent fast is by choice not by force. The religion of Islam and Christianity gives high priority and significance to the dates palm and its fruits; the Christians enjoy eating the dates on Christmas and use it as an important ingredients in the making of the Christmas cake.
The ancient Christian of Jerusalem were seen carrying dates palm fronds as they went out to meet Jesus Christ; reasons to why the traditions of some Christians is the adornment of their Churches with palm leaves for the celebration of the last Sunday before Easter known as palm Sunday when the palm fronds are seen all over and in the hands of worshippers and around the officiating priest.
The Jewish holiday of sukkot also use the date palm frond for its celebrations while during the ancient Assyrian period the date palms was depicted in decorative arts and often worshipped.
The dates Palm is respected and honored as a symbol of honesty, purity and righteousness; regions of the world held the dates palm in high esteem some are known to depict the date palms on monument and medium of exchange while the Greeks and Romans use it as decoration in victorious event such as pageants and it is for Saudi Arabia a symbol on its emblem with two swords.
The dates palm in ancient Egypt and most parts of the world represents fertility and long life, whereas the Christian Holy Bible has stated that the dates palm is a symbol of beauty thereby encouraging people to make use of it in building their houses and eat it as a blessed tree of life.
The northern Nigeria Muslim held tight the Islamic teachings of using the dates as a cure for many health issues and also squeezing the dates nectar into the mouth of a new born for a lifetime of blessings and bliss, still going further in the north east Nigeria where long necklaces out of the dates are made to be hung and adorn boys of 7 years of age who were traditionally believed to have come of age after circumcision; the dates are arranged on strings interlaced with sweets and candies to form a necklace treats after which each of the circumcised boys is given to wear as an adornment after dressing up in their new circumcision attires, the boys wearing the dates necklace are easily identified and picked out from the crowd as the newly made boys to men. The dates fruits are highly valued delicacy amongst many communities in Nigeria making the dates fruits an essential especially during traditional ceremonies, festival and cultural events as seen presented during weddings and naming ceremonies while for the very rich it is given out for charity known as sadakat to the needy, after the dates fruits had been soaked in honey it is then shared out to everyone in attendance in seeking and searching for blessings from the Almighty.

Dates Processing, Products And Recipes
The date fruits can be eaten fresh, dried or processed into a variety of recipes because dates are so versatile, with a high sugar content and nutritional value; dates syrup, vinegar, spread and dates sugar known popularly as jaggery are all a product of the date fruits.
The dates in a variety of recipes are pitted and then stuffed with fillings of choice such as peanut butter, almonds, walnuts or cream cheese; dates can also be sugar coated with fillings or glazed with glucose syrup and eaten as a sweet snack. In some recipes the dates are chopped or minced as add-in for the sweet and savory dishes; the processing of the dates helps to prolong its shelf life especially when it is processed into dates syrup, spread, sugar, dates cubes or powder others includes alcohol or vinegar. The love for dates fruits and its health benefits motivates a lot of recipes made of dates that are sweets, satiates and nutrients dense; keep a date with dates recipes:-

The dates is becoming a food source around the globe used in food preparation such as sweets, confectionery, baking goodies, industrial and animal feeds and health foods; dates are added to or in combinations with other varieties of food stuffs. The use of the dates fleshy pulp are found in sweets, preserves, condiments, alcoholic drinks, beverages, breakfast food and desserts; the dates preparation are mostly in households cottage industry or the kitchen small processing projects for the family meals or onward sales for the retail shops in the neighborhood.
The use of the dates is manually done and process due to lack of tools and modern equipment to speed up processing and for an increased output or products. The process starts with the washing or rinsing of the dates to clean the sticky skin that easily attracts impurities due to its sweet nectar, next is the hand pitting stage which involves cutting open the dates fruits to remove all the stone hard pitt within; the fleshy pulps are then collected then cut, sliced, chopped up or minced before mixing with any liquid of choice to make a slurry preparation in readiness for the next products. The combination or mixture of the dates are done in order to dilute the natural sweetness, improve on its acidity or to enhance its nutritional shortcomings in order to serve as a staple food.
One of the most generally relish dates products is the dates and milk mix which is prepared with the fresh or sour milk such as the yogurt, curd, cheese, or butter using the fresh or dried dates.
Another sweet dessert made out of the dates is stewing the dates in fresh milk or milk powder on low heat simmering until a thick creamy sauce is obtained.
A candy like product of the dates is made by combining the dates pulpy fleshy, with drizzle of honey and folded together with a dollop of butter until it is sticky thick and set. While the ground dates can be made mixed with sesame oil to form a ball or square and eaten during the long and cold windy desert nights to keep hunger pangs at bay. The dates fruits salad is prepared with a combination of fruits of choice to balance taste, flavor and nutrients such as the dates, watermelon, cucumber, pineapples, apples, pears, citrus and pawpaw mix together and beautifully served on a bed of lettuce salad with garnishing of coconut flakes and a few dashes of lemon juice.
The date pastries are also a sweet treat made with the dates, prepared after it is ground into powder, then flour is added to it and roasted on low heat by stirring until lightly golden, it is molded or shaped while still hot into fancy shapes and serve as homemade cakes.
The dates sweet juice is a combination of any citrus juice of choice with dried lemon, mint, dates pulp and dates sap which are mixed together. On low heat the mixture is left to simmer until it turns to a gel like consistency.
Serve as sweet or spread with other favorite side dishes.
Stuffed dates are served as desserts which is made by boiling hard dates until tender, after which it is cut into two to remove pitt and it is filled up with almond, chocolate, and nuts with spices of choice. The dates preserves or jam also is made by cooking on low heat the dates in water and sugar or syrup with cloves, ginger and lemon juice or walnuts until it turns to a thick concentrate just like marmalade then transfer into glass jar for storage.

A million and one recipe can be made out of the dates which include a sweet naughty date treat that is made with the dates and nuts chopped together, then it is mix with yogurt. After which the beaten egg yolk is folded into the mixture and combine until blended in together; then flavor it up with cinnamon. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with added sugar separately until fluffy and frothy, then add into the yogurt mixture and fold in to form a light and sweet dessert.
A dates recipe that is also enjoyed as a snack sweets is made with a combinations of the dates that has been pitted and chopped, sugar is added, spiced up with ginger, chili pepper and cloves. The ground raisins is also folded into the mixture, a dash of vinegar and a pinch of salt to balance the taste and flavor. On low heat place the mixture and cook until it is concentrated use for serving meals as a sweet and sour delight.
Canning of dates can be easily done at home by first washing or rinsing the dates, pitting, then soaked in hot water to blanch. Strain out the liquid and transfer the blanched dates into can or jars pour over it sugar syrup or dates syrup until filled up, add ascorbic or citric acid. Hit the jar on the table surface to remove air bubbles, sealed it up airtight then sterilization follows with hot water bath or boiling, remove and store.
Kids and babies are not left out of the versatility of the dates in food making, mix and match in order to feed and have meals for the whole families that is fit for every ages. A protein rich mix of dates, with wheat, chick peas or beans and milk powder with added vitamin supplement; wash the wheat grains and place in a pot then add in the rinsed chick peas or beans, cover with enough water and cook on medium heat until soft. When all water or liquid is dried up, remove from the heat and dry in the sun or dehydrator. Combine with dried dates and mill or ground into a fine flowing powder, sift into a large bowl, add milk powder and vitamin supplement then stir all together to combine, sift again and transfer into an airtight jar or sealed packages. Store in a cool and dry place, use it just as for infant and babies food, a cheap, natural, and nourishing food for babies and kids.
A chewy leather bites is a sweet that is candy like made with the combination of dates pulp and milk or yogurt then flavor with fruits of choice. Pour out on a baking tray, then spread out thinly; place in the dehydrator to dry until crispy and crumbly.
Allow to cool and break into pieces, transfer into candy jars and store. Enjoy as a chewy treat just like the fruit leather, a better way to reuse left over milk or yogurt, sweet and healthy for the whole family.

Date Paste
The dates palm paste is the opposite of the dates powder, the difference is that the dates are dry milled in smooth powder, sift and store for use as dates sugar or powder whereas the dates paste is wet milled into a smooth wet paste used as an alternative to the dates powder in recipes of choice. Dates are rich in soluble fiber and magnesium, helps relieve constipation due to its processing method whereby the dates as a whole is milled to produce either a free flowing powder or paste that is smooth and custard like.

Recipe Ingredients
Airtight Container

Recipe Steps
1. Rinse the dates thoroughly, cut it open to remove the hard coated seeds or pits then soak for several minutes to make for easy blending and to avoid damaging the blender blades.
2. Flavor or spice it up accordingly, to fit in to recipes of choice for sweet or savory.
3. Transfer into the blender with the water, blend until smooth always adjust the consistency as desired by the addition of more water.
4. Scoop and scrape out the date paste into prepared jars or containers, label appropriately, it is advisable to use up the dates paste first because it has a short shelf life when compared to the dates powder.
5. Store in the refrigerator or freezer used in recipes of preference; always use a clean and dry spoon to scoop the paste.

Date Sweet Syrup
A perfect fruity alternative to the honey, sugar syrup and maple syrup, mildly sweet, cholesterol free, gluten free, recommended for brain, bone and body health. Loaded with natural sugar use in breakfast cereal, baked goodies or spread, mix into date-milk shakes, fruit salad, fruit juices and candy bars.

Recipe Ingredients
Cheese bag
Airtight jars or containers

Recipe Steps
1. Rinse dates thoroughly, cut open and remove pits, transfer onto a clean work area and chop into tiny bits. Alternatively if using the homemade dehydrated dates, have it in mind that it is properly cleaned and processed at home before storing; pick enough for the syrup, place in a mortar and pound with the pestle until crushed into tiny bits.
2. Scoop into a bowl and cover with hot boiling water for an hour to soak until soft, transfer the soaked dates into a sauce pan, add more water and bring it to boil on low heat, simmer until very tender with a dark brown colored liquid.
3. Bring off the heat and allow to cool completely, pour into a food processor or blender and blend until a smooth puree.
4. Pour the puree into a cheese bag and strain out the darken syrup, squeeze out as much syrup as possible, reserve the fiber or chaff for use in baked goodies.
5. Meanwhile, pour the strained out dates syrup into a saucepan and return it to low heat, simmer until the liquid content is reduce and the syrup is thick just like the honey consistency.
6. Add any flavorings of choice and simmer to the desired thickness, stirring to avoid sticking and burning.
7. Cool completely before filling up the airtight jars or containers then sterilized properly and label appropriately.
8. Stored for use in the refrigerator or freezer or the kitchen cabinet then use whenever it is needed as a natural sweetener that is a healthier alternative.

Dates Desserts
The delicious and tasty dates desserts is made in a pudding recipe baked or steamed all depends on choice, it can be sweet or savory or both, spiced up or just prepared to preference.

Recipe Ingredients
Cube or Bread crumbs or wheat flour
Fresh eggs
Minced meat
Spices of ginger, clove and chili

Recipe Steps
1. Scoop to use some bread crumbs into a mixing bowl, pour over it to soak some milk or water.
2. Mix in the minced meat, chopped onions go ahead to spiced it up with some chili, ginger and cloves powder then add the seasoning of salt just a pinch.
3. Stir in some pitted and chopped dates, pour over the mixture some beaten eggs and stir gently to coat and combine all the added ingredients.
4. Transfer into a greased baking pan, add tiny dollop of butter along the edges of baking pan; set the baking dish in a pan of hot water and cover the pudding with foil sheets, bake until set or golden. Serve alone or with other side dishes anytime of the day steaming hot or cold.

Stuffed Date Palms
A sweet handy snack treats for both the kids and the adults so easy and fast to make, absolutely the bomb for bursting the taste buds, Adult-friendly and kid-friendly, completely vegan, gluten-free and dairy free so mix and match with fillings of choice.

Recipe Ingredients
Fillings of peanut butter, almond butter, cashew nut or butter, grated chocolate, coconut butter, or sesame seeds butter
Toppings of shredded coconut, minced or finely chopped peanuts, chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips
Sprinkling of salt as garnishing
Drizzling of honey, coconut nectar or melted chocolate

Recipe Steps
1. The date palms sticky nectar on the dates, attracts lots of dirt and debris, rinse properly to clean off impurities.
2. Cut the dates open with a sharp knife by making a slit vertically to remove the dates pitt.
3. Fill each dates with any of the fillings most preferred but if desired make different fillings for variety in taste.
4. Sprinkle the toppings all over to coat completely, a pinch of salt sprinkles is just enough for balance in the flavors.
5. A sweet treat to remember, go naughty with the drizzle most desired to sealed up the sweet deliciousness of delightful treats.
6. Carefully transfer into trays, packs or jars, speed up to keep it frozen in the freezer or the refrigerator. Store in beautiful airtight jars then label appropriately, tag a friend or a family member, share as a gift treat.

Granulated Dates Sugar
The sugar is made with granulated dates and it does not dissolve completely when mixed with liquid as compared to the date sugar made from the date palms sap; the later completely dissolves when mixed into liquid. The date palm are naturally sweets and when included in drinks, beverages or baked goodies, it not only enhances its nutrient contents but serve as a sweetener; for those avoiding the white or refined sugar the dates sugar is perfectly suited for most recipes needing additional sweeteners.
Dates are added in various dishes depending on traditional cuisines such as add-in couscous, salads, desserts, sweets and baked goodies; dates are also converted into sugar because of its high sugar contents.

Recipe Ingredients
Date palms
Airtight jars
Grinder or blender

Recipe Steps
1. If the dates are bought in the open markets then rinse properly to removing all dirt and debris that might have stuck on its juicy nectar but if properly packaged then proceed.
2. Slice into halves to remove the hard seed or pit then arrange on baking tray that has been lined with parchment or baking sheets then bake until its crispy dried and dehydrated completely.
3. Mill or grind into a smooth dates sugar in the coffee grinder or take to the heavy machine then mill or process into smooth and free flowing dates powder, sift into a dry bowl.
4. Transfer into airtight jars or packs and label appropriately, use for sweetening various dishes as a date sugar, an alternative to the white sugar as a natural sweetener.

Dates-Milk Beverage or Shake
Want a good night sleep and protection against night blindness? People around the world enjoy a drink of milk and date beverages, while for others it is snacking on the dates every midnight when very tired and in order to maintain eye health for a lifetime, eating dates increase energy level, regulate digestion and the cancer society recommend the eating of dates for its excellent loads of fiber which assist tremendously against cancer tumor growth and prevents night blindness. The combination of the dates and milk as a beverage is a healthy and nourishing meal that benefits the human body; milk is filled up with calcium richness while the dates contribute iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, copper and phosphorus for muscle building and nerve tissue health.
The date milk beverage is a fast way for weight loss; the beverage also helps the body with natural sugar which is good for pregnant and lactating mothers, an effective remedy for sexual dysfunction in the male which aids in enhancing male sexuality and fertility in the female.
It is best serve at breakfast which would help brain functions by activating the brain neural cells while taking it at midnight assist for a restful night and sound sleep. The mixture of milk and dates blended into paste makes for a smooth and beautiful skin, that helps to rejuvenate tired skins while making it glow with radiance; soak some dates or use fresh dates, add milk and blend into a paste. Rub all over face and neck, to clean and tighten the skin pores making for an excellent mask. A great way to feed the skin with protein and enzyme; Once it has dried and the skin feels tight, wash off with cool water, towel dry and moisturize with the Shea butter whipped cream. Yes! The milk and dates mix is beneficial from within and without taking care of the overall health of the body.

Recipe Ingredients
Dates fresh or dried
Walnuts, cashew or almond
Ginger and cloves
Flavor of cinnamon, coffee or vanilla
Going traditional add in the ginger and cloves

Recipe steps
1. The sticky nectar on the dates coverings attracts a lot of dirt, and impurities so always rinse off with clean water.
2. Transfer into a bowl and cover up with lots of water, allow to soak overnight until very tender.
3. Cut open the soaked and soften dates to remove the pitt, then put into the blender. Pour in some milk depending on the consistency of choice, drizzle some honey for more sweetness.
4. And for variety add in some walnuts, cashew nuts or almond, want it more flavorful add any of the following cinnamon, vanilla, or coffee if taking for breakfast.
5. Blend until completely frothy smooth, take a sip and adjust accordingly with more sweet or flavor.
6. Fill up a glass and enjoy the most exotic and naturally delightful nutrients in just one glass.

Dates Ball Chews
A cute tiny and chewy treat that it is made into balls and coated with sugar or coconut flakes, serves for snacks or desserts.

Recipe Ingredients
Ground Dates
Full cream milk or powdered milk
Whole wheat meal or flour
Chopped groundnut, peanut or coconut
Coatings of coconut or chocolate flakes

Recipe steps
1. Ground into powder the dried dates, transfer into a bowl then add chopped nuts of choice, sprinkle as desired the shredded coconut, add some cream or full cream milk and a little butter, flavor up with vanilla or chocolate sauce.
2. Roasted wheat flour can also be added but it is optional in order to help hold the dough together; Combine all until a firm and smooth dough, scoop little dough and roll into tiny balls bake or fry is simply by choice but can be serve as it is.
3. Drop into the coconut or groundnut powder to completely coat the dates ball, transfer into the refrigerator and freeze it.
4. Serve as snack with favorite beverages or with other side dishes, a must have for kids because it is so cute and super sweet.

Fruity Dates Wine
A homemade wine is all about trying something new in the kitchen, the fresh grapes can be pureed or blended as an alternative to the grape juice concentrate, try other wine recipes using the dates as an added ingredients; it is worth a try.
A perfect gifts to share, carefully and hygienically brewed at home.

Recipe Ingredients
Dates depending on quantity of wine
Grape juice
Citric acid
Sugar or dates jaggery
Distilled water or boil and cool

Recipe Steps
1. Pick out the best dates dried or fresh would do, all depends on method and cooking duration.
2. Rinse the dates and chop it up if fresh but if it is dried then crush until tiny pieces; transfer into a deep saucepan, pour in water and boil until tender.
3. Meanwhile sterilized all equipment to use in hot boiling water, remove and dry out.
4. When done, remove from the heat then allow to cool and strain out the juice into a wine bottle with airtight topping. Pour in the grape juice concentrate, add in the citric acid and yeast, with a funnel pour in the distilled water, snap close the topping until airtight.
5. Keep the bottle in a cool and dark place, stirring every day with a long handle wooden spoon for 3 weeks until the mixture ferments.
6. Place a cheese bag over a clean bottle or container, pour the fermented wine through the cheese bag to strain out the brighter wine and allow to rest for clarification.
7. Strain again into another clean bottle the clear and bright wine leaving out the residue at the base of the bottle.
8. Secure the topping tightly and store for several months or years to age, for a better and sweeter matured dates wine.
9. Cheers to families and friends, enjoy.

Homemade Dates Wine
Organic dates wine are as exotic as any grape wine, refreshing with a fresh fruity flavors and a subtle sweetness so mild that its feels on the tongue imagined than real; an ecstatic aroma, and a silky smoothness. An alternative to the use of grapes in wine are the naturally sweet and versatile dates; simply use any grape wine recipe and instead use the date palms.

Recipe Ingredients
Dates of any variety
Sugar, crushed ginger and cloves
Distilled water or boiled and cooled water
Citric acid
Raisins or Wine yeast or yeast solution

Recipe Steps
Sterilize all utensils and tools to be used for the wine making, with hot water and dry thoroughly. Measure all ingredients and divide sugar into 3 parts.
Boil and cool water or use distilled water, remove dates seeds, steam or boil in water for about an hour, remove from heat and allow to cool or transfer into a bowl or pour hot water over it and cover to soak and soften. Transfer the the boiled dates into a jar add in the distilled water, add whole wheat, sugar, crushed ginger, and cloves to the jar; yeast solution which is made by adding some yeast to some warm water and mix in some sugar then stir to mix properly, keep and allow to prove.
Pour into the other mixtures, stir to combine, mix in citric acid and combine all together. Alternatively strain the soaked dates juice into a separate jug and scoop out the soaked dates into a blender and blend until smooth paste; mix both the blended dates paste and strained juice together again, add some parts of the sugar, citric acid and the raisins all together, cover and tie up the bottleneck with a cheese bag for fermentation to occur.
Keep in a dark place for 3 days or until the fermentation process begins; the sour smell or hissing sound is a good sign.
Once every day stir the brew and leave for several more days until the pulp of the dates begins to float on the surface of the wine brew; after about 12-14 days. Alternatively, stir every 3 weeks with a clean spoon that gets to the base of jar and seal lid airtight every time.
Alternatively try another method by introducing the sugar in stages; mix into the fermenting dates brew another part of the sugar, cover the bottleneck with a water lock to aid in getting rid of the carbon dioxide, leave undisturbed. On the 3rd day add in the remaining parts of sugar which was earlier divided into three parts by dissolving with distilled water first, then pour into the brew, lock back the bottle. On the 2nd months or 60days of fermentation when the brew has stop emitting gas, a close check shows settled residue at the base of the bottle while the dates wine is clearer and brighter.

Filtration is to strain using the cheese bags, to remove the pulpy residues for use around the garden or other recipes; purification follows in, pour the wine into another bottle or jug using a cheese bag. Taste and adjust accordingly to personal choice with the addition of more sugar after the first 21 days leave it for another 2 days undisturbed and strain with a cheese bag and squeeze the bag to remove all liquid. Then pour into another sterilized jar, cover tightly and keep in a cool dark place for the next 3 weeks for clarification to set in.
Date wine gets matured and more flavorful when it is allowed to age peacefully and gracefully. Age wine taste better as the saying goes, it is advisable to allow the wine at least 4 months for it to clarify more because the longer it stays the more the wine residue would settle back at the base of bottle. Pour into wine glass bottles using the syphon pump then allow to age and clarify.
Push back the bottle lid and allow to age for as long as possible in the refrigerator or wine cellar; every 2 weeks pass the wine through a cheese bag to purify and clarify the brew, change also the bottle or container every time it is clarified.
When the date wine has reach the age or maturity of choice, cork it and store. A beautiful golden orange color of the date wine is obtained to sip graciously, gift to families and friends, Cheers!!

Whole Meal Wheat And Dates Treat
A traditional recipe of ancient Saudi Arabia but it is now been incorporated in a variety of recipes across the world which depends on the regional cuisines. A superb whole meal eaten as snack during trips or at home in between daily meals, fiber loaded because the wheat meal and fiber are rich in dietary fiber, so sweet as a satisfying meal.

Recipe Ingredients
Dates sugar, syrup, or molasses can be used as alternative to ground dates.
Wheat flour roasted, millet, guinea corn or sorghum
Spices are optional ginger, cloves and chili pepper
Butter or ghee or vegetable oil

Recipe Steps
1. The wheat meal flour is roasted until a delicious aroma is perceived but it must not be brown or burnt.
2. Meanwhile, the dates sugar is transfer into a bowl or to grind the pitted dates into powder, ground ginger, cloves and chili pepper is stir in and mix with water then the roasted wheat flour is added in and mix until a dough is form.
3. The dough is roll out or flatten and then spread on a grill, metal plate or modern day non-stick frying pan that has been lightly greased with butter or ghee.
4. Bake in the oven until cooked or place on the stove top until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, if using the stove top then flip over and repeat until both sides are cooked.

Dates Shakes, Smoothies And Drinks
A meal during Iftar or the breaking of a fast that is too hard and which requires chewing can be difficult to enjoy. The dates are often very hard and if not hard it still requires a lot of chewing but using it in recipes such as smoothies or shakes just about take control of all the stress for an easy and smooth swallowing or simply gulping down the vitamin loaded mug of nutrients.

Recipe Ingredients
Pitted dates
Milk or yogurt
Flavor of choice vanilla or cinnamon
Sweeteners of choice or honey
Chocolate sauce if desire for a unique and yummy treats

Recipe Steps
1. If using dates fresh from the markets, rinse in clean water and soak in water, when the dates are soft and bloated, slice it open and remove the dates pitt. Collect all the pitted dates in a clean bowl, and keep the water used for soaking the dates for use during blending to a achieve the desired consistency.
2. Pour into the blender some milk or yogurt, add in the dates, sweeten more with sweetener of choice such as honey for a more nourishing and sweet treats.
3. A flavorful shake or smoothies requires added flavors of vanilla, cinnamon or just a chocolate sauce for a completely yummy drink. Naturally, adding a few spices of choice such as cloves or ginger, gives the taste buds that needed tingling feel after staying without a meal throughout the day, an exotic and enjoyable wholesome mug of refreshing dessert.
3. Process all the ingredients together by blending into a smooth puree, check for texture and adjust accordingly if too thick add in the water reserve from soaking the dates but if too thin then add in more dates or yogurt to make for the perfect consistency of choice.
4. Scoop all out into the jug and keep in the refrigerator until it is ready to be served but it is most advisable to blend just before serving for a frothy and smooth delight.

Mango Shakes
A fruit that is so full of amazing vitamins and so filling and for added fibers the mango skins fills up the gaps. Mango fruits can be serve alone, in fruits salads, juiced or pureed, then prepared and served as desserts. In northern Nigeria during the season of Ramadan the mango fruit is relish so much for its sweet nutrients and fast satiate even without a meal, above all it is affordable.

Recipe Ingredients
Fresh ripe mangoes
Spices of ginger, cloves or both but optional
Honey or soaked dates for added sweetness

Recipe Steps
1. Pick the mangoes that are firm to the touch, rinse properly then slice in the middle to remove the core seed.
2. Slice the fleshy parts against the skin in a vertical and horizontal straight up to the end lines; after which a beautiful cube of mangoes would have been made.
3. Scoop away the cubed mangoes with a spoon into a clean blender, add the dates, pour in the yogurt and milk then blend.
4. Flavor up and spice up with any choice ingredients, drizzle over it some honey, adjust the consistency with more milk or yogurt and blend all together until it is creamy smooth.
5. Turn over into a jug and scrape out all the custard-like mango shake sticking to the blender cup or better still add in some milk to rinse it out into the mango shakes.
6. Serve chilled for Iftar or the breaking of the fast with any delicious side dishes most preferable for Iftar.

Watermelon Wholesome Drink
A water fruit due to the fact that the fruit is made up of 80% water, a perfect combination of water and fiber to replenish loss energy fast. Watermelon is expensive and many can not afford to buy a whole fruit, thereby opting for a slice or two according to the money within reach kept for the fruits. On hot sunny days, the fruits stands in perfectly for both water and food which helps to protect against dehydration and provides the body with essential minerals and vitamins. Ramadan fruits bowls always consists of the slices if the gorgeousness of the red awesomeness of the watermelon.

Recipe Ingredients
Citrus fruits of oranges
Strawberry or kiwi fruits
Ice cubes
Honey or dates is optional

Recipe Steps
1. Meanwhile, rinse and soak dates until tender, cut open and remove pitts; wash thoroughly the fruit, towel dry the fruit and place on a firm clean surface. Slice it up into quarters of several pieces, depending on sizes of choice for the pieces.
2. The watermelon seeds contains excellent loads of vital minerals, with a spoon scoop out the water melon inner pulpy parts into the blender; remove the black seeds for those who do not like it either for health or personal reasons.
3. Rinse all the citrus fruits, peel away the skin and remove the pitts and leathery white coverings. Transfer the Juicy parts of the fruits into the blender, add the sliced dates, peel a little zest and add for that sweet citrus flavor.
4. If using kiwi or strawberries then rinse and add, mix and match with any fruits of choice to get the desired taste.
5. Some fruits can really taste bland so for added exotic taste, wash the pineapple, peel and remove with a sharp knife all the black eyes. Slice into chunks and add to the fruits, there is no need to add sweeteners because the pineapple, kiwi and strawberry are naturally sweet. But if not added in then for added sweetness, drizzle in some honey or sugar.
6. Add ice cubes for a chilled and ready to drink juice, then process all the fruits together by blending all until smooth with loads of fiber, minerals and vitamins to enhance the needed vital nutrients loss during the day.
7. Serve immediately with any meal to be served, a delicious and hydrating fruit drinks that helps to instantly boost the energy.

Date Palms Health Benefits
The dates fruits has a great potential health benefits that has been documented right from the ancient times through the ages to modern times.
An influential sheikh believes as a belief of many cultural practices across the globe that the dates fortify the body, enriches the blood, cure all especially the back pains, enhances fertility and that when the dates fruits are cooked in milk serves as a potent remedy for fever and diseases. Sweet and highly nourishing with an amazing protective effects against chronic diseases that has been ascribed to the dates bioactive non-nutrients known as phytochemicals which is vital for antioxidant activity, effective cholesterol lowering properties, potent for chemoprevention of cancer, prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and Stomach problems.
The dates is loaded with various essential nutrients which includes a superb loads of dietary fibers, and potassium, also rich in carbohydrates, some proteins, minerals and the vitamin B complex. Amazingly the date fruits are low in fat and protein but highly loaded with sugar of the fructose and glucose. The date fruits has a natural capacity to retain its high nutrient value even when dehydrated providing the much needed nutrition in food staple for the desert regions. In Islamic medicine one of the most recommended fruit as natural medicine is dates, a cure for almost everything including witchcraft and jinn; for the practicing Muslims dates are much more than sweets they are the fruits of life.
Dates are powerhouse of essential nutrients like the potassium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium amongst other vital benefits of the dates are its richness in Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C therefore a handful of dates in daily diets reaps significant health benefits for the body without any need for vitamin supplement, while the natural sugar loads of glucose, sucrose, and fructose of the dates enhances the energy level in the body.
The dates has a high caloric content, an amazing loads of essential minerals and vitamins than is found in most fruits. A fruit that is considered for medicinal tonic, aphrodisiac, antioxidant, purgative; excellent magnesium content as a natural source of folic acid. Date seeds are made into paste and used to relieve gum diseases and to treat diarrhea while it root decoction are used for the treatment of toothaches for swishing around the mouth and spitting it out or the root paste are administered on the spot of pain. The pollen grains are also used as purgative, while some tribes are known to used it as an aphrodisiac and to improve fertility.
The date is a powerful antidote to reverse toxicity or poison when it is consume early morning on an empty stomach. The dates hard pit are used to enhance animal growth when included in animal feeds and it is believed to be loaded in organic oil. The dates are great for bone health with the help of its selenium, copper, manganese and magnesium which prevent osteoporosis and vital for growing bones especially in kids.
The excellent loads of the iron in dates is an essential property for blood production for patients suffering iron deficiency and proper immune function.
The sodium in dates helps the nervous system function smoothly while its potassium is vital for controlling and reducing cholesterol which also reduces the risk of heart issues and strokes.
The date palms are rich in fiber assisting the smooth functions of the digestive system and reducing all forms of guts problems such as constipation; abdominal pains can be control and cure with just some dates that is soaked in water by chewing the pulp and drinking the soaked water is an effective laxative. Dehydration is treated at home also with the dates which is prepared by soaking some dates in water overnight, on the following day the water is strained out of the dates pulp and a pinch of salt is mix into the water until dissolved, thereby giving to the person vomiting and suffering from diarrhea, subsequently helping to prevent dehydration.
The powerful loads of vitamin C in dates are a source for skin remedies with beautifying effects upon all skin types; dates in daily diet helps to improve the skin elasticity, reduce sign of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles hence dates has a potent anti-aging benefits which also prevent the accumulation of melanin in the body when incorporated in daily diets.
The flavonoids contents of the dates acts as antioxidant helping to protect against cancers and heart diseases with its strong anti-mutagenic properties, dates also has anti-inflammatory effects on the body, while its carotenoids assist in enhancing the immune system.
The brain health benefits immensely from the nutrients loads in dates helping to lower inflammatory markers which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease of the brain.
Dates are used in the treatment of cold, sore throat and fever when it is taken in the form of syrup, paste, decoction or infusion which shows a significant protection against nasal and throat infections especially of the inflammation of the mucus membranes. The traditional recipe of dates, ginger, cloves, chili pepper, hibiscus or raisins are combine then boiled with water. The boiled decoction is stained and taken in 3 times daily until the treatment is attained.
The dates are beneficial for pregnant and lactating mothers; when consumed daily before and after delivery it can greatly assists in strengthening the uterine muscles as a potent tonic.
The daily consumption of dates in daily meals or as a snack is highly beneficial for eye health and remedy for night blindness above all it is a sweet treat.

Adverse Effects Of Dates
The side effects of eating dates are not worthy of avoiding dates in daily diet as long as date consumption is under portion control; limit intake and stay safe.
The high dietary fiber in dates can affect people who are not used to eating high fiber food such as the dates which may cause bloating, constipation and flatulence while people who are allergic to sulfate which is often added to dates as preservative, may experience diarrhea, stomach aches, skin irritation and itchiness. It is advisable for people living with asthma to avoid the dates because it may aggravate their health issues by airborne particles such as molds forming on dried dates.
Dates is loaded with sugar, high in fiber, calories and energy hence all may lead to weight gain, the watch word here is consume dates in moderation.
The high potassium content of dates may cause hyperkalemia which is having too much potassium in the blood so to avoid high potassium in the blood, avoid the dates.
The coatings on dates may be harmful and may lead to guts problems because it is most often covered with wax to stay fresh and for longer shelf life.
In as much as babies are feed with dates and other dates products, it is best to keep out of the reach of babies the wholesome dates because dates are hard and thick, babies can not chew it to pulp before swallowing thereby it is a health risk for babies to swallow it whole, which can result to block windpipe, choking and suffocation.
The natural sugar in dates is due to its high loads of fructose which is intolerable for some individuals, hence it may cause stomach aches and diarrhea.
Dates is rich in beneficial nutrients so it is best to be careful not to over indulge in dates as overeating dates may cause more harm than good to the human system.

Sustainability Of Date Palms
The dates has religious, health, cultural, ecological and economic value for the populace where the dates palm trees are cultivated and domesticated; the Nigerian date palm industry is the new goldmine that is embedded with an enormous economic and employment potentials. The date palm trees gives shades and protection from harsh weather helping to control all climatic weather for a sustainable living conditions while the dates orchard serves as a canopy in the desert and also as an ornamental and beautification for homes.
Dates are essential and can be used for the manufacture of a variety of preservatives such as jam, syrup, cookies, pastry, baked goodies, candy confectioneries, snacks, salads, chocolate, beverages, butter, creams, sugar, honey, appetizers and desserts.
The dates palm can also be used in the manufacturing sector to create employment for the millions of the unemployed in Nigeria, in both the skilled and unskilled labor in order to generate income and assist in alleviating poverty all across the land. Therefore, the date palms is relevant for the manufacture of the traditional hand-woven fan, ropes, baskets, foot mats, bags, beds, cages for birds, traps, fillers for cushions and beautiful hand crafted cushion and chairs, hampers, blankets, door and window blinds or frames, fences, shelters, table mats and placement mats, life belt and firewood.
The dates crop is one of the most important food crops in northern Nigeria for generating income and for staple food whilst steadily rooted in culture and tradition of the Nigerian people as whole.
A lot of factors are currently affecting this most important food crop, such as genetic erosion, spread of diseases, pest invasion, drought and high temperature causes by drastic climatic conditions.
The ever increasing exploitation of natural resources has caused several environmental problems threatening the sustainability of production and cultivation of the dates palm tree.
The dates palm trees is the most salt tolerant fruit trees that can withstand the harsh desert climate conditions; its resilience in drought conditions through long years of thriving, guarantees that the dates palm trees may survive, grow and bear fruits but for it to flourish and produce high quality products there is the need to meet some vital requirements.
The dates palm tree is strategic to economic development that would help support a huge part of any society and social growth; food security provision and job creation.
Nigeria is among the world top 10 consumers of dates fruits; despite the abundant land resources, conducive soil and climatic conditions for the dates cultivation and the many available good quality local varieties of the dates, yet it can not meet up with local demand due to low domestic production. Despite the amazing potentials in the dates palms with the abundant land resources, Nigeria as a nation still depends on import to meet the local demand because the demands for the dates palm is higher than local production. The Nigeria dates industry has established commercial date palm plantations yet its activities has been hindered by the lack of good planting materials; the major factors responsible for low production, processing and marketing are lack of adequate information on its nutritional benefits and the lack of data on performance related to the status of the date palms sector.
There is the need for the government to focus on and encourage the dates palm producing states, the farmers and to ensure that necessary support is provided and given to the farmers to improve crop yield; it is vital to make provisions for the farmers in the area of training on agronomic practices and to support the crop growth in financing farmers.

Dates are nutritious super-foods that fills up fast and makes the body feels rejuvenated, there is blessings for you in the tree of life the date palms if you keep a date with dates, for in its fruits are nourishment for your mind, body and soul; give a gift of kindness today and bless somebody’s life even if it is with half a date fruit!