Date-ing Tips

Tips for Storing, Freezing & Thawing, Soaking & Refreshing California Dates 

Storing your California Dates

To maintain freshness, California Dates should be stored in an air tight container or resealable bag. 

Fresh dates with 23% or less moisture are relatively safe from microbiological deterioration. However, they can still undergo natural changes over time, which may result in a darker color and a loss of their original flavor and aroma.

Shelf life studies show the following varieties storage options:

Deglet Noor Variety

Room Temperature
70 degrees F, 8 – 12 months
45 degrees F, 12 – 18 months
-5 degrees F, 30 – 40 months

Medjool Variety

Room Temperature
70 degrees F, 4 – 6 months
45 degrees F, 6 – 9 months
-5 degrees F, 15 – 20 months

Refreshing and Rehydrating your California Dates

Dates naturally tend to become dryer when stored. To refresh a few dates after a long storage: place dates in a microwavable bowl with no more than a tablespoon of water. Place in the microwave for 20 seconds.
Softening a larger portion of dates, place in a microwave steamer pot with a half cup of water and steam for 1 minute in the microwave. If further hydration is needed, heat in 30 second increments until dates are soft and hydrated.

Softening California Dates before Adding to Recipes

To soften California Dates before adding them to fresh, cooked or baked recipes, simply fill a bowl with boiling water, and soak the required amount of dates for 10 minutes. Strain the dates and pat dry before adding them to the recipe. 

Freezing and Thawing California Dates

To properly freeze and thaw dates, follow these tips: First, clean and pit the dates, then store them in airtight containers or freezer bags, squeezing out excess air to prevent freezer burn. Freeze at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) and ideally consume within 6-12 months for best quality. Label the packages with the freezing date to track their storage time. To thaw, transfer dates from the freezer to the refrigerator, allowing them to gradually thaw over a few hours or overnight. Use thawed dates within a few days and avoid refreezing to maintain their texture and flavor.