My Go-To Sweetener: Date Paste

What is the hardest thing about cutting out refined sugar in your diet? Finding desserts that contain no added sugar. Really, when you think about it, why would we expect a dessert without some sugar added to it? It’s dessert! However, I do expect desserts that taste comparable to what I was used to eating!  And I expect this to happen with fruit alone. Thankfully, I have found a whole food sweetener.

Dates

They’re dates! Dates are truly nature’s candy. Can I tell you a secret though? I have never eaten a date in its original form. I have had dates stuffed with bleu cheese and wrapped with bacon (mmm…can we say “future post”?), but never while it was au naturel. I have convinced myself that will be too sweet to eat, so I haven’t popped one in my mouth. Instead I see possibilities for this humble fruit; one of them being “date paste”.

You can use this paste in place of sugar to sweeten many foods: cakes, muffins, soups and chili, sauces, blended beverages, etc. It’s, also, great for spreads on breads, pancakes, waffles, crackers – whatever you can put a spread on. It’s not a perfect sweetener perfect for every recipe, but I will provide plenty of recipes to choose from that you will love. Be sure to check in on Sundays where I will post my “Sweet Sunday” dessert recipes.

DATE PASTE INSTRUCTIONS

As you will see from the instructions, it’s hard to mess this up. For ease, I have provided the recipe below. Feel free to tweak it to your tastes.

YOU WILL NEED: 3 cups of dates (medjool or deglet are fine), 3 cups of water, a medium saucepan, blender, and a container to store the finished product. Make sure the container is sterilized.

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Get 3 cups of dates and remove the pits. Place them in a medium saucepan with about 3 cups of water. All the dates should be submerged.
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Bring the water to boil for about 20 minutes. You want to dates to get soft. Stir occasionally.
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The skins of the dates will peel back and some of the water will reduce. This is how you want it to look. If too much water evaporates before they’re soft, feel free to add water until the date/water ratio looks like this.
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Allow the dates to cool for 20 minutes to 30 minutes. You don’t want to blend boiling hot liquid. The container might explode. But, don’t let the food get cold either. You still want the dates relatively hot.
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Put it all, dates and water, in the blender (or in my case, Magic bullet) and blend. If it won’t blend easily, add a quarter cup of water at a time until it does blend. The mixture should have the consistency of thick apple sauce.
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This is what your final product will look like. Notice that there are no large pieces of dates. Place it in your container and store in refrigerator. This mixture will firm up more as it cools and have the consistency of jelly.

And here you have it, a whole food sweetener that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Unlike sugar, dates are not empty calories. According to Organic Facts at Organicfacts.com, “Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Its a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates.  It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K”. So, enjoy it. But, of course, eat everything in moderation.

What are your favorite dishes that contain dates? Is there a dessert that you like to see with no added sugar? Please comment and let us know.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Donna says:

    I have only check out a few of your posts but love them I will check out the sugar content of dates but it is awesome recipe and will be trying this out and love your blog. My blog was originally about making more responsible choices for a more natural lifestyle and is now evolved to some writing but it is still primarily homemade naturally http://dadojodest.com/. I hope you take a look and I also hope you are okay with having some posts reblogged as I am sure there will be those that I will want to share?

    Like

    1. Hi Donna! I think you bring out a good point for all: if you are sensitive to sugar or trying to live a low sugar lifestyle, please be careful with the dates. This blog only promises no added refined sugar. But, it does not promise that all recipes are low sugar in general.

      Please feel free to reblog as I would love to do the same for you. And thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Donna says:

        Thanks lower refind sugar is good

        Like

  2. I’ve used dates to sweeten my green smoothies, but date paste looks like it could come in handy for many other things. Thanks for the recipe! I look forward to trying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The dates paste is great. I started making it to put on my pancakes, but then I started using it in my baking. I hope you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. huh, I had never thought of using date paste. I usually throw stevia, carrots or raisins in to sweeten things. Raisins in particular do a great job and I love them. They are my candy of choice since I can’t eat most packaged candies. I’m going to have to try this next payday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melinda. I use those foods as well. Im fact, I started out using those and also bananas and sometimes prunes. Dates weren’t a food that was eaten in my family, so I never even considered using them. I still use those other foods to sweeten my foods, but my main one is this date paste. Now talking to you, I can even see making a paste from raisins. That sounds delicious. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

      1. I had the same though (about the raisin paste). Great minds! Have a good one. Also, sweet potatoes and apples you can add to the list. Apples sweeten up savory dishes and I see more quick breads and cakes using sweet potatoes. In fact I saw one today that I want to try next time I have the cash to buy groceries.

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  4. Forgot to say thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like it 😊

      Like

  5. Jasmine S. says:

    Yes! love using dates as a sweetener. I’ll sneak one into my smoothies and they’re delicious!

    Like

    1. Aren’t they great? I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never tasted a date until a couple of years ago, but I never looked back. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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