My first date……..with a date was, um, questionable.
I needed bravery more than anything else as I am not a fan of sweet treats much and I really was not sure what to expect fron a natural product from a far away land.
I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and testure of these little beauties. The sweetness was just right, there was no artificial after taste or side effect.
Dates contain vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron and vitamin B6 … just to name a few. They are also high in antioxidants!
Dates are a fruit which come from the date palm tree that grow in the tropical regions of the world. Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor.
The majority of dates which are sold in the Western countries are dried. The best indicator of whether the dates are dry or not is the appearance. A wrinkled skin with a slightly hard exterior indicates they are dried, whereas a smooth skin with a soft testure indicates the dates are fresh.
The fresh dates, depending on the variety, range in colour often from bright red to bright yellow. Medjool and Deglet Noor dates are the most commonly consumed varieties.
To Substitute Sugar for Date Paste
When I substitute granulated sugar or even coconut sugar for date paste I use a 1:1 ratio. I have tested this method with my Oatmeal Walnut and Chocolate Chip cookies where I used 1 cup of date paste. The results were better than expected. The cookies were slightly softer and less sweet but they held together well and taste devine. The lack of sweetness in the cookies was not somethig which bothered me but if you do like your cookies a little sweet you can get away with adding slightly more date paste, for a sweeter flavor. Its important to bear in mind that date paste will create a more crumbly testure instead of the chewy texture in baked goods.
To Substitute Maple Syrup for Date Paste:
When substituting maple syrup for date paste, I use double the amount of date paste. In a recipe where ½ cup of maple syrup, I’d recommend using 1 cup of date paste. I tested this method and found the recipe to be dry but I doubled the amount of date paste, the texture and sweetness are much better.
Do share your own experiences with me on making and using date paste.
500g pitted organic dates (medjool or any other variety)
1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
- In a large bowl place pitted dates in a bowl
- Add of 180ml water to the dates, cover and soak for 6 hours.
- After soaking for 6 hours, add the pure vanilla extract with the salt to the soaked dates.
- Add the dates to a food processor and process dates until very smooth.
- Store refridgerated in an air tight container and use in your favourite recipes.