Dates: Natural Sweetness With Deep Roots

It’s the holiday season, which for many people means lots of sweets. Cookies, pastries, and pies galore. As you know, most of these desserts contain large quantities of added sugar, the harms of which are well documented.[1] 

May we offer an alternative? The mighty date! As a staple in some regions for millenia and a key ingredient in OT granola, we have lots of love for this powerhouse of natural sweetness. 


Dates are the edible sweet fruit that grow from date palm trees. Their historical range includes much of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East, and today are cultivated around the world. They are among the oldest farmed fruit trees and come in numerous varieties. If conditions are right, date palms can grow up to 100 feet tall, live more than 100 years, and produce more than 100 pounds of fruit annually.[2]

Dates hold special importance in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. They have been integrated into spiritual rituals and appear frequently in sacred texts. It’s easy to understand their significance when you consider that these marvelous plants often emerge in the barren desert. To this day, date palms serve as an oasis for travelers navigating harsh terrains.[3]

In 2023 America, dates are having a moment. Their popularity is on the rise as more and more people are awakening to their utility. The smooth, rich flavor of dates makes them easily integrated into many recipes calling for sweetness. 


Unlike the added sweeteners that are normally present in desserts (and granola), dates contain ample fiber to help the body process the naturally occurring sugar. Dates are also high in nutrients and minerals like selenium, potassium, and magnesium.[4]

Dates (and date products like OT granola) might be a wise option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake in a way that is still delicious. As always, be sure to note how you feel after eating different foods and run any changes by your healthcare team.

Dates and OT

We had a hunch that dates would be part of our granola sweetener solution, and it turns out we were right. They’ve been by our side from the beginning and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

OT Foods sources our dates from just outside of Joshua Tree National Park in California. We plan to one day visit the farms and showcase their amazing work. Until then, open a bag of OT granola and feel the warmth of this sun-sweetened miracle fruit!



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