How to Make and Use Date Paste

Date Paste

Date paste may be the best alternative sweetener you’re not using. Dates are naturally moist and sticky with hints of carmel, brown sugar and often vanilla flavor. These qualities make blended date paste an excellent alternative to processed sugar in smoothies baked goods, such as breads, cookies and bars or as a spread. Date paste also has more than a few health advantages over the white stuff.

Adding sweetness with dates means adding nutrition without refined sugar’s roller coaster ride. The natural sugar in dates, invert sugar, is easily absorbed and assimilated by the body. Yet, their high fiber content makes them a low-glycemic index food. So, dates or date paste, not only support healthy blood sugar levels and elimination, but also helps you stay full longer. Dates are also high in iron, calcium, are even richer in potassium than bananas. Dates are also a rich source of minerals, such as chlorine, copper, magnesium, sulphur and phosphorus.

Clearly, dates and date paste knock out refined sugar in the nutrition contest. But, how do they compare to sugar when baking? Actually, pretty well, thanks to the unique chemistry of date sugars. According to a recent publication by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, “In most varieties the sugar content of the date fruit is almost entirely of the inverted form.” Medjool dates are particularly high in invert sugars at about 70-78% of the sugar content. 

A sugar is ‘invert’ when the sucrose is divided into its components, glucose and fructose. This occurs naturally with dates, or with the addition of a fruit acid, as is done when making jam. Because this creates very fine sugar crystals, invert sugar is used in making candies and fondant which require a smoother product, making it a favorite of bakers. Invert sugar is also recognized by bakers for its hygroscopic properties, meaning it attracts moisture, increasing tenderness while extending shelf-life. Invert sugar also contributes to the Maillard reaction (caramelizing), aiding in the browning process.

So, satisfy your sweet tooth and baking needs with dates! Used them chopped or make a date paste by soaking dates in water for 30 minutes to two hours and process with some of the soaking water. Keep it plain, or flavor with cinnamon, vanilla or other flavors of your choosing. Refrigerated, date paste will keep for at least a week. Easy.

DATE PASTE RECIPE:

Yield: Just under one cup of date pasteTotal time:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 Medjool dates (about 1 1/2 cup )
  • Filtered water, enough to cover the dates

Soaking Dates

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the dates and place in a bowl. Cover the dates with enough water to just cover the dates and let soak for about an hour.
  2. After an hour, drain the dates and reserve the soaking liquid.
  3. Place the dates in a blender, preferably a smaller blender jar for this amount. Process the dates, adding the soaking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth, but still thick. This will require 1/4 to 1/2 cup of soaking liquid depending on the type of dates, freshness of the dates and the length of time they soaked.

Chef Eddy – More on Invert Sugar
Reasons to Love Dates

What are your favorite ways to use date paste?

15 thoughts on “How to Make and Use Date Paste

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  3. what do i add to the date paste as a preservative to keep it for a longer time period, without keeping it in refrigerator.

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    • I’m so sorry for the late reply. I wasn’t clear about what you were asking. It seemed like there was some confusion with the recipe, perhaps. Please let me know so I can clear up the confusion! Thanks for visiting.

  5. So what next?! How do you use it after making it? Is it a one-one substitute for sugar, and do any other alterations need to be made? For instance, if I have a cake recipe from a regular ol’ cookbook that calls for white sugar, what do I need to do to use the date paste instead?

    • Great question!In general, the date paste can be used 1:1 for sugar, with some caveats. I’ve found it works really well as a replacement for very moist and/or dense items, such as smoothies, sauces (great on oatmeal) and baked goods, such as muffins. It will work well for brownies, but you won’t get that same texture on the top. I wouldn’t recommend it for anything with a subtle flavor as the date paste will give a bit of a carmel flavor. I also would not recommend it for anything very light, such as meringue or an angel food cake. I hope that is helpful. Thanks for your question. Visit again soon!

        • Very interesting question. I’m really that there is a safe option for keeping it out of the refrigerator for more than a few hours. For long term-storage, you could freeze it and just keep a small amount available for daily use. Thanks for stopping by!

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