Trying to avoid refined sugar? Date Paste is a healthy natural sugar substitute that’s the perfect solution for baking deliciously sweet desserts, and it’s so easy to make with only two ingredients–water and dates!
What can you use date paste for?
Date paste isn’t just for baking desserts. It’s a perfect natural sugar substitute for oatmeal, toast, and even smoothies.
I love to make recipes like my Applesauce Cinnamon Muffins with date paste, along with pancakes and waffles.
In most recipes that call for honey or maple syrup, date paste can be used as a replacement as well. Some folks even use it to sweeten their coffee and tea.
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What makes date paste good for you?
Depending on the variety, dates range in size and color, and almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried.
Medjool dates are very large and are the most common type used in cooking and baking. They are chewy, moist, and sweet and have a wrinkled skin that indicates they are dried. These are the ones I used for this recipe.
Nutritionally, dates are high in fiber, iron, potassium, and B vitamins. They have 2 grams of protein in a little over 3 ounces.
Though they are high natural sugars, they are low on the glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause large spikes in blood glucose levels like refined sugar does.
Many people avoiding sugar use date paste in baking to get that sweet taste without processed sugar. Best of all it is entirely homemade, so you know exactly what is in it.
How to make date paste
This natural sweetener can be made with two simple ingredients–dates and water. Simply remove the pit from the dates as demonstrated in the short one-minute video, and then measure out one cup of the pitted dates.
In my experience, nice big soft dates don’t require soaking and blend quite easily in my Vitamix blender.
However, if you are using less fresh dates that are more dried out, soaking may be necessary. Simply soak pitted dates in enough warm water to cover them for approximately 30 minutes or more. This will help soften them up.
Then, pour dates and soaking water into a blender until smooth.
Now, the date paste is ready to be used as a healthy sweetener in many of your favorite recipes.
How to use date paste as a sugar substitute
I have had success using date paste at approximately 1:1 ratio when substituting for sugar in most baking recipes. If a cookie recipe also calls for applesauce, I tend to reduce the amount of applesauce slightly to keep the finished product from becoming too cakey in texture.
You’ll need to play around with your favorite dessert recipes a bit and tweak them because texture and sweetness can vary from one recipe to another.
This Chocolate Sugar-Free Vegan Cake recipe is made completely with date paste and zero sugar. It’s a decadent chocolatey masterpiece that can even be made into cupcakes.
Tips for making this natural sugar substitute
- If subbing out for dry sugar, start by using a 1:1 ratio.
- For substituting out for honey and maple syrup, I suggest using slightly more date paste.
- While you’re at it, why not make a couple of batches and have this sweet paste on hand when needed?
- Date paste keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Not kidding!
- It can even be frozen in small amounts and defrosted as needed.
- Remember to pit your dates before blending. Some date varieties may already have the pit removed.
Healthy date recipes
- 1 cup Medjool dates (other types can also be used)
- 2/3 cup water
- Pit the dates, if needed. Some dates may already have the pit removed.
- Measure out one cup of pitted dates and add to a blender.
- Add water to the blender and turn the blender on, revving up the speed as they process.
- Blend until smooth and then add to your favorite desserts.
- Watch the demo video below and check out my extra tips and suggestions along with recipes in the article above.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrates: 21g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 19g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g
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