Today’s post is a fun one! (I know “date paste” sounds a bit questionable, but bear with me). It’s a quick, easy recipe that literally anyone can make. Honestly, it is next to impossible to make this wrong. All you need are Medjool dates (truly nature’s candy, as they are quite sweet and almost caramel-y), and water. So simple, right?
So, how bout them “all natural” sweeteners? There are so many refined sugar-free sweeteners floating around on the market (agave, coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, to name a few) but it’s so simple to make your own 2-ingredient date paste and keep it in a cute jar in the fridge to use whenever a recipe calls.
Plus dates are a good source of potassium, some B vitamins, and fiber, so they have an added nutritional benefit over white sugar and many other sweeteners in that regard. Really, what other sweetener is going to have some blood-sugar balancing fiber??
It’s important to remember that not all “natural” sweeteners are created equal. That natural halo can actually be misleading. Take agave nectar for example. It is highly processed and has been treated in a way that any beneficial compounds and enzymes are destroyed. Agave Nectar is not a sweetener that I recommend consuming on a frequent basis. Whenever we process a food product, the more likely it is that beneficial compounds are removed by the sheer nature of the processing (chemicals, heat, pressure, etc).
If keeping beneficial nutrients of food up (enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants) and the processing down interests you, this date paste is going to be your jam, er paste. Even dietitians like to have a sweet treat, and this is one ingredient that I like to have on hand to maximize the nutritional value of my homemade treats if I have the option. It’s rich, caramel-y, and holds up well in recipes.
Let’s cut straight to it and get to the no-brainer recipe!
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and soaked 4 hours or overnight, soaking water reserved
1/4-1/3 cup reserved soaking water
Add dates and 1/4 cup of water to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. If mix is too thick, add more water, one tablespoon at a time.
Yields about 1 cup
Fave ways to use date paste:
- Stirred into tea lattes
- Substitute for sweetener in baking recipes (quick breads, muffins, cashew cream)
- Sweet element of marinades/dressings
- Over banana ice dream
- As a raw, vegan caramel sauce sub
- Any recipe that calls for honey, coconut nectar, or liquid sweetener
Have you used date paste before? I would love to know if you try adding this to recipes. I’m always looking for recipe inspiration, so tag me on insta (@bouquetsandbaguettes) so I can see how you use it!
Have a fab week!