Date paste is a must if you are eating a whole-food, plant-based diet not only because it’s deliciously sweet, but because it’s the only sweet food that’s actually a whole food and it’s so easy to make and easy to turn into date syrup. Although you can buy date syrup, it’s rather expensive so you can save a few bucks, as well.
The best kind of dates for making date paste and date syrup are Medjool dates. They are the biggest and the most tender of dried dates and very delicious eaten all by themselves. One of my favorites snacks is to take a Medjool date, remove the seed, and pair it with a walnut half… it’s heaven in a bite.
Date syrup is a common staple used in several Middle Eastern countries as a natural, liquid sweetener. Medjool date paste and syrup are often used in plant-based recipes to sweeten dressings or to replace sugar in baked goods although they can impart a stronger taste that we might be used to with refined sugars.
Thankfully, dates are easy to find in the market. Just make sure you have enough on hand because you may go through them faster than you think.
Easy to Make Date Paste
To make date paste, all you need is a blender. A high-powered blender is best but you can also use a regular blender since we’re soaking the dates in hot water before blending. The recipe is super simple. Just add the soaked dates to the blender and blend until smooth.
The amount of water can vary. If you like your past a little thinner, then add more water. For thicker date paste, use less water.
Did you know that dates and molasses are the only sweeteners with any nutritional value? Check out my article, “Two Healthy Natural Sweeteners You Need to Know About,” to discover more about these two sweeteners. Unfortunately, almost all other sugars, including agave, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, Sucanat, maple syrup, evaporated cane sugar and of course, white and brown sugars, are devoid of nutrition.
Learn more about evaporated cane sugar and coconut sugar in my article, “Coconut Sugar and Evaporated Cane Juice: Health Foods or Hype.”
And, while we’re on the topic of sugar, you might be interested in “The Truth About Fruit Sugar on a Plant-Based Diet,” and my “12 Tips for Avoiding Added Sugar on a Plant-Based Vegan Diet.”
Two Ways to Make Date Syrup
There are two ways to make date syrup. One way is to cook the dates with water for a couple of hours, then squeeze the juice out of them with cheesecloth, put the juice back on the stove to simmer, and reduce for about an hour until you have a thick syrup. This is the traditional way, but I’m a fan of expediency so I’m in favor of the second method.
This method is to take your already blended date paste and thin it to a syrupy consistency. I don’t know about you, but this works for me and should be good for recipes, as well.
To store your date paste or date syrup, use pint glass mason jars and store in the refrigerator for several months.
So, get yourself some beautiful Medjool dates and make some date paste and syrup today. And, try one of those date-walnuts, or any other nut, treat. You deserve it.