Dates originate from the Middle Eastern region of the world. They grow in clusters on a date palm tree and their fruit is abundantly sweet with firm meat. There are many different types of dates, Medjools being one of the more popular kinds.
The dates can be found readily in grocery stores. They are a great portable, bite-sized treat to enjoy when you need a bit of sweetness but want to be healthy about your choices. Dates aren’t just sweet. They are also high in potassium, protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
This is what makes the date an ideal substitute for sugar. Sugar, as we all know and hate to admit, has been proven to adversely affect our health quite drastically, the more of it we eat. Seeing how giving up sugar can be quite difficult, especially if you have a very large sweet tooth (as I do), healthier alternatives to sugar whenever possible are the way to go when cooking or baking. Such examples are maple syrup, coconut sugar, the naturally-produced Stevia, and, of course, dates.
Dates are quite chunky and sticky and using them as a sugar substitute would not work. So, today, I am bringing you a delicious date paste recipe that I love to use anytime I want add a little sweetness to virtually anything! Date paste is simply dates and water pureed together until they form a smooth, creamy paste. This paste will easily mix in to other ingredients and dissolve in liquid uniformly. In my recipe, I add a splash of vanilla to give it a sweeter, fragrant, and more delicious flavor.
I use this date paste quite a bit, in my kitchen. It can be added to coffee or tea, used to sweeten smoothies, as a sweetener in puddings, cakes, or cookies, as well as when a touch of sweetness is required in savory dishes! Of course, you would have to adjust the liquid amounts of your recipes accordingly. Use it anywhere you would sugar. You will not be disappointed. Being healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your dessert. Simple healthier substitutions such as date paste in place of sugar mean you can continue to satisfy your sweet tooth, smartly and more healthfully.
Recipe by: Leelabean
(Yield: about 2 1/4 cups)1 1/2 c pitted medjool dates 1 1/4 c water 1/2 t vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Place the dates into your blender.
Then, pour in the water.
Blend on high for about 5 minutes. Initially the mixture will be light colored and chunky.
But over time, it will thicken, darken, and become completely smooth.
Add in your vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and continue to blend until completely smooth.
This consistency (above) is perfect for mixing in your coffee or tea, as well as adding to cooking or baking whenever the recipe calls for some sweetness. I would liken the consistency to a thick pancake batter. Store the date paste in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Enjoy healthy sweetness!!
Sweetly ♥ Yours,