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My favorite fruit snack in the fall and winter is apple slices with dates, for the perfect mix of tart and sweet. Growing up, I never liked dates because they always tasted dry and kind of waxy, but then I discovered there are soft, plump, moist varieties that didn’t taste like the chalky ones that haunted my childhood.

Barhi dates, for example, are wet and sticky, but when frozen, they acquire the taste and chew of caramel candy. Paired with my Honeycrisp, it’s like eating a butterscotch-flavored caramel apple. Locally, you should be able to find decent Medjool dates in Middle Eastern grocery stores and many natural foods markets, but for the too-moist-to-be-sold-commercially varieties, you’ll probably have to shop online.

My Daily Dozen recommends at least one daily serving of berries, in addition to three servings a day of other fruits, including dates, the delicious Green Light source of sugar.

It took years for nearly 500 researchers from more than 300 institutions in 50 countries to develop the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, the largest analysis of risk factors for death and disease in history. In the United States, the massive study determined that the leading cause of both death and disability was the American diet, followed by smoking. What did they determine to be one of the worst aspects about our diet? Not eating enough fruit. So why not treat your taste buds and your health with some dates?

Image Credit: Rachael Gorjestani / Unsplash. This image has been modified.

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