The literature is starting to show that ground date stones are commonly added to animal feed in poorer countries as an inexpensive way to fatten livestock. Additionally, there has long been anecdotal evidence about the human health benefits of the date. Bedouin and other Middle Eastern peoples have touted the disease-fighting properties of this dietary staple in warm, arid countries. Date imports, as well as recent scientific literature about the anti-viral and heavy metal absorbing properties of the date and the date pit, have made the edibility of the date stone more of an interest in Western countries.
Things You'll Need
- Grain grinder
- Industrial strength food processor
- cleaned and dried date seeds
Feed date stones to your livestock to enhance their growth. Dates that are not of a production standard for commercial sale, may be added to livestock feed to enhance growth of animals. Date stones fed to livestock have been shown to increase the animal's flesh output in many different species, from tilapia, to chicken, to cattle.
To make animal feed additive, grind seeds separately from the fruit for maximum energy efficiency. Generally, livestock are not able to digest the date pits whole, and the stones may be seen undigested after the animal has eaten in its feces.
Grind your date stones with other grains such as rye or wheat, as date stones ground alone can easily wear out your grinding blades. Research your own grain-grinder's strength and cutting ability, as ruined grinding blades can be expensive to replace.
Baking and cooking with date flour is not a common practice in the United States, so use an attitude of experimentation when trying this new food. Date seeds have been shown to have anti-viral effects. Middle Eastern references touting the benefits of dates suggest eating powdered date seed as an aid to help cure colds. Try this by grinding up date seeds in an industrial strength processor and mix with honey if you have a cold or other viral infection.
You may also want to experiment with date flour in your breads and other cooking by adding your ground, raw date seed powder to the flour you use while baking for added fiber and potential health benefits: The USDA researched the nutrient content of date pits and found that they contained at least 5 percent protein and at least nine percent fat. Additionally, date fruit and seeds have been shown to help prevent liver toxicity in laboratory rats induced with organic chemical poisoning by carbon tetrachloride.
Because of their ability to absorb heavy metals, industrial houses are researching the benefits of ground date stones in many chemical processes.
For a bread that has the consistency of bran fiber, use ten percent coarsely ground date stones to your regular flour mix. Smoothly ground date stones do not give as similar a consistency.
The World Intellectual Property Organization references a recipe to make date-stone coffee: Roast your cleaned, dried date seeds between 140-200 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour and bring to room temperature. Grind them as you would regular coffee and add them to or substitute them for your morning joe as a Bedouin treat.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not feed your livestock water-softened date pits. Seeds softened only with water and not ground at all have been shown to come out undigested in the livestock's feces.
- Some livestock preparations of date seed are made with sodium-hydroxide for better digestibility, but these processes are not recommended because sodium hydroxide is caustic and dangerous to use unless you are a trained chemist. It may be necessary to use organic dates when cooking because pesticides can concentrate in the seeds of fruits. Consult your doctor before adding any new food to your diet. Be careful if you have hormonal issues that could enhance an existing cancer, potential cancer or other illness. Some date seeds are thought to contain estrone and are believed to have significant hormonal effects in laboratory animals. The Sokkary and Thammani brands of dates have been shown to contain estrone. Additionally, research has not been completed on the long-term viability of the fats contained in date pits, so use dates that are as fresh as possible when making your own date-stone recipes from scratch.