Sunday, June 9, 2013

Healthy Home | Make Your Own Date Paste

Have you heard of date paste before?

After seeing this nutrition video, I was determined to find some date sugar to be a whole food, healthy alternative to sweeteners in my house. Alas, date sugar was nowhere to be found in stores. Dates? Those I could find. So, I've been using dates to sweeten and add texture to a multitude of recipes for about 6 months or so, and one could call us BFF's.





I buy my medjool dates (the sweeter, tastier kind) at Costco and have found they have by far the best price around. I also buy Parnoosh honey dates in a big container at our grocery store. Although they aren't quite as sweet and decadent as the medjool, they are still sweet, more affordable, and work well for certain recipes. And if all else fails, check your bulk food aisle, because I see dates there all the time.

Now to the paste part. Dates are fantastic and I use them whole frequently, but they do require processing in either a food processor or high speed blender like a Nutribullet or Vitamix for use in most recipes. Many recipes I make with dates I'm already using one of these appliances so it's not a hassel, but sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I just want a quick and easy purreed date to use on the spot. And so that is where date paste comes in.

In a way, it should almost be called "date butter" because the process and end result are very similar to that of a nut butter. Soak, purree, store in a jar. But maybe date paste sounds healthier. Perhaps we should just call it"daste"? No?


Making date paste is ridiculously easy.

1. Stuff your pitted dates into a mason jar
2. Cover with boiling water and soak overnight
3. Drain excess water, and puree in a food processor until smooth consistency
4. Add cinnamon, vanilla bean and/or vanilla extract to taste if you prefer
5. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for anytime use




What can you use dates/ date paste for? Currently, my go to oil/fat-free salad dressing is as easy as 1-2-3 with some of my pre-blended date paste. It is so very tasty and easy to make.

3 parts acid (lemon or lime juice, or apple cider/red wine vinegar)
1 part date paste
Seasoning/herbs to taste

The date paste desolves beautifully in the acidic base and adds a thicker texture to your dressing, not to mention cuts the acidity and adds a nice flavourful sweeteness to your dressing. 

Date paste also makes a welcome substitution for many ingredients in baked goods. Because it freeezes SO well (it doesn't freeze solid), it's easier to have on hand all of the time, so things that call for apple sauce, honey, agave nectar, syrup, sugars etc, I often replace partly or entirely with date paste. The result in a much healthier, whole food sweetened recipe that you can feel better about.

Have you given date paste a try? Or found date sugar anywhere?


1 comment:

  1. Love this idea. I made some granola-ish bars with dates recently and they were a hit. Almost too sweet, those little buggers!

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