Date Paste Recipe: Sweeten your food with whole fruit



Date Paste Recipe: Sweeten your food with whole fruit

Date Paste Recipe

I get asked a lot what the healthiest sweetener is and my answer is always any sweet whole food still pretty much in it’s original form.  I think anything that’s been extracted and heavily processed and preserved isn’t going to be anywhere near as healthy as a whole fruit such as dates.  Dates are so good for you as they contains loads of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium and are great for constipation and weight loss.  A perfect post-holiday addition to your diet!

This is my 100th post on my website and I’m excited about the fact that I’ve also just had the 1000th person sign up for updates via email and the Green Thickies Facebook page has also just reached 1500 likes.  So I wanted to thank all of you for your support and want to try and give more time back to my website now that I’m feeling a bit better and into the second trimester of my pregnancy.  (If you haven’t already you can read why I had to stop drinking green smoothies during my pregnancy).  Don’t worry I’m almost at the stage where I’m ready to start drinking green smoothies again and I have loads of lovely recipes that I’ve already created just waiting for me to share with you.  I also want to start posting more recipes about making individual ingredients that you can add to your smoothies such as coconut milk, almond milk, coconut butter, peanut butter and healthy sweeteners.  So what better way to start the new year than with a healthy way to sweeten all your recipes.  Enter the date paste.

What is Date Paste?

I used to put whole dates, raisins or any dried fruit straight into my smoothie but now I generally just use Date Paste.  This is also referred to as date syrup or date honey.  It is basically just pureed dates.  You can buy it  which saves you the hassle of making it but it won’t be as fresh as making it yourself.  I like to make my own as it’s cheaper and healthier.  It also blends much easier and saves time pitting dates every time you make a smoothie.

5 Ways to make Date Paste

There are several ways to make date puree, you can:

  1. Use a blender: You may need to use quite a lot of water with the dates, and this is easier with high speed blenders.
  2. Use a food processor which uses less water than a blender but the date paste won’t be as smooth.
  3. Use a pestle and mortar: This is great for small quantities of date paste but requires a bit more effort.
  4. Hob method: Simmer pre-blended date paste in a pan to reduce the amount of water content in it, or you can simmer first and then process once it’s cooled.
  5. Use a fork: See my previous Date Syrup recipe for instructions on how to leave your date syrup to pretty much make itself in the fridge!

How long can I store Date Paste for

Date paste will keep for at least a week in the fridge and about 3 months in the freezer.  I usually make a large mason jar’s worth every couple of weeks and it seems to last fine for this length of time. I would advise you to make this in bulk as if you’re like me you’ll soon be using this in everything! What foods can I use Date Paste in? Any liquid sweetener (honey, agave nectar, maple syrup) in most recipes can be replaced with date paste.  I use date paste in pretty much everything including:

  • Smoothies/ Green Thickies
  • Ice cream/Sundaes
  • Yoghurt
  • Puddings
  • Cakes/ Pies/ Muffins/Sweet pastry
  • Pancakes
  • Savoury dishes such as stews or beans
  • Homemade peanut butter
  • Homemade healthy Chocolates
  • Homemade bread
  • Porridge/ Oatmeal
  • Granola/ Cereal
  • Add it to hot drinks such as cocoa/ hot chocolate/ tea/ coffee
  • Salad dressings
  • Baked/ Stewed fruit

What type of dates should I use?

Use any type of dates that you like but make sure there are non added ingredients as sometimes dates are coated with syrup to make them look shiny.  Fresh whole dates are the healthiest as they are the freshest but personally I use dried pitted dates as I get through so many of them.  I buy them in bulk on Amazon.

How much date paste should I add to my recipes

If you are making baked goods I would replace the liquid sweetener with exactly the same amount of date syrup as it may alter the consistency if you change the quantity of wet ingredients.  However for other recipes you might be able to experiment with the quantity a bit more.  For smoothies and recipes where it’s easy to adjust the amounts I would just add the date paste to taste.  The date paste is watered down with water so it may not be quite as sweet as other sweeteners, so you might need to add more if you want it a bit sweeter. My green thickie recipes usually call for between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup of dates.  I would add in exactly the same amount of date paste but you can easily adjust this. Sweeten your recipes with date paste

Optional extras for your date paste

To make a gorgeous tasting sweetener you could include any one of the following ingredients:

  • Vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cinnamon/Nutmeg/Mixed Spice/ Ground cloves/ Ginger
  • Lemon/ Lime juice or zest
  • Almond/ Mint/ Orange essence
  • Cocoa/ Cacao/ Carob powder

5.0 from 2 reviews

Ingredients
  • 2 cups of pitted dates Soaked in
  • 2 cups of water (keep the soak water and follow the directions below)

Instructions
  1. Soak the 2 cups of dates in 2 cups of water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Keep the soaking water for the recipe.
  2. *FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD*
  3. Drain the dates but reserve the dates and add them to the food processor with just enough water (start with 2 tablespoons) and process until it’s as smooth as you can get, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. *BLENDER METHOD*
  5. Add the dates and just enough water to blend the dates until smooth. Start with 1 cup of the reserved date soaking water.
  6. *PESTLE & MORTAR METHOD*
  7. Add just enough dates for the recipe you need with a splash of water if required. Use some muscle power to grind the dates into as smooth a paste as you can manage.
  8. *HOB METHOD*
  9. If you want your finished date paste to include less water you can either blend the dates with the soaking liquid in a blender then simmer in a saucepan until the paste has reduced. Or you can add the dates with the liquid straight to the pan, simmer until the water has reduced and then leave to cool and process with the food processor until as smooth as you can get it.

 



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Katherine invented Green Thickies, A complete meal green smoothie that dramatically improves your health and fills you up. Katherine would love to chat about health or weight loss with you and help you improve your health. Connect with her via twitter @greenthickies, Facebook or on Google+

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Comments

  1. What a healthy and delish sweet hit :D

    Cheers
    CCU

  2. This looks fantastic! I’ve been playing with the idea of making this. Just might try it. Thanks for joining Healthy 2Day Wednesday :-)

  3. Congratulations on your blog milestones! I’ve made chocolate date paste in the past, and used it to sweeten pumpkin bread and it was super tasty. Your variations look great!

    Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!

  4. Wow, this looks fantastic!

  5. Congrats darling!!! Big day for your blog! Love it – it takes so much work and love and time to make our little virtual spaces successful.. good on you!!

    p.s. i’m thrilled about date paste. and intrigued ;)

    thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up – i hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & real/whole food posts. xo, kristy

    • Thank you Kristy, that’s very kind of you. Yes there’s so much work that goes into a blog, much more going on behind the scenes than people might think. So it’s lovely when people get benefit from all the hard work you’ve put in. You should give the date paste a go, it’s great in so many recipes.

  6. What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing your tip with the Hearth and Soul Hop. I’ve pinned this to my Pinterest board.

  7. I need to explore with dates! What a great sweetener!
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    On the Gluten Free Fridays tab we have new badges for you to display on your blog. There are a few different choices for you. There are varying sizes as well. If you’ve had a featured recipe in the past, feel free to grab one of those badges as well! They are free for the taking; use as you wish! Thanks for supporting our GF community and spreading the word!

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    See you at the link up this week!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  8. Thanks for the reminder that I need to make more date paste! It’s been awhile. Thanks for sharing with Simple Meals Friday! I hope you join us agian this week.

    http://nourishingsimplicity.org/2013/01/simple-meals-friday-14.html

  9. I’d love to make this! Dates are so sweet and tasty. Is there a type of date you recommend like medjool for example? Just asking because some dates are more pricy than others.
    -Dana

    • Hi Dana, to be honest I buy my dates dried and pitted in bulk via Amazon. I get through so many of them and I find this is the cheapest option. Dates are healthier when they are fresher and pitted though but it would cost me a fortune to buy those so we’ve just got to get the best foods we can within our budgets.

  10. Teri Roberts says:

    Can date paste/date honey be used directly as a spread on fruit, cheese, bread or crackers? I have lots of ideas…I wonder how that would work?

  11. I want to make date paste so badly, I never knew you could. Sounds like a wonderful alternative sweetener to some of the ones I use. How do you measure the dates? By weight (16 oz.) or just put some in a measuring cup? Thank you, this is one I will keep and use in my thickies!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Date Paste Recipe: Sweeten your food with whole fruit Date paste is one of the healthiest and… [...]

  2. […] Sweetener (If it needs it add in some healthy sweetener.  I prefer to use whole foods so mostly use dates/ date paste) […]

  3. […] Sweeteners (dates, raisins, agave nectar, maple syrup, coconut Palm sugar, stevia, honey)  I often use Homemade Date Paste. […]

  4. […] but basically, date paste is dates boiled in water for 10 minutes or so and blended until smooth.  Here is a post about a few ways to make the date paste.  Alternativley, you can use a product called […]

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