Fresh dates, especially the Medjools variety, typically have a soft and chewy flesh – but after hanging out on top of the kitchen table or in a pantry, they can dry out over time.
There are a few ways to bring them back to a plump and juicy life.
Soak In Hot Or Boiling Water
Transfer the dates into a bowl. Pour enough hot or boiling water to cover the dates, then allow them to soak for about 10 minutes. Drain the water from the dates. The dates should now be soft and ready to be used. This hands-down is my preferred way to soften dates.
Microwave For A Few Seconds
Arrange the dates in a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Next, warm them in the microwave for about a minute, depending on the strength of your microwave. I recommend warming them in 10-second intervals and removing them when they are soft to your liking.
Place a pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, place a steamer basket or a colander inside the pot. Arrange the dates inside the basket/colander, cover with a lid, and allow the steam to soften them. They will soften in about 5 minutes.