I think this date paste must be the food of the gods, it's so more-ish and delicious! This natural sweetener is a nutrient dense healthy sugar substitute. It just takes minutes to make and can be enjoyed as date spread in place of jam or as a natural sugar alternative when baking.
Health benefits of dates
Although sweet and delicious, dates are good for you!
- Dates are high in fibre. As well as being good for your digestive system, dates also help to prevent your blood sugar from spiking. So you can enjoy food sweetened with dates without the inevitable blood sugar crash!
- Rich in antioxidants. Like a number of other dried fruits, dates are a good source of antioxidants. These have numerous health benefits and help to keep inflammation in check.
- Dates are also a good source of a number of vitamins and minerals including potassium, magnesium, copper and vitamin B.
Pitted dates. I decided to experiment with a block of stoned dates to make this date paste. Although they don't look quite as enticing as a fat Medjool date, they worked brilliantly, and they are much cheaper. If I was eating dates from the packet, I'd choose Medjool, but the dates in this recipe will be soaked in boiling water and blitzed to a puree, so you really can't tell the difference.
Boiling water softens the dates so that they break down easily into a paste.
For a similar recipe, you could also try making fig paste. It's slightly less sweet and can be served with cheese as well as used as a healthier jam replacement.
How to make date puree
It's very quick and easy to make this date puree recipe.
Cut up the pitted dates into pieces about the size of a sultana. It doesn't matter too much about the size, but they'll break down more easily if you chop them first.
Then cover the dates with boiling water, and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Separate the dates from the soaking liquid using a sieve or strainer, making sure to retain the soaking liquid.
Using either a food processor, blender or immersion blender, blitz the dates until they are blended to a smooth puree. You'll need to add a little of the soaking water to make a paste - add it a teaspoon at a time so you don't add too much.
Spoon into an airtight jar. That's all there is to it.
Store the date spread in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you want to store date puree for longer, you can freeze it. If you want to be able to defrost it in smaller portions, you can use an ice cube tray.
Hold on to that lovely soaking liquid. You can reduce it down and add the delicious date syrup to your baking, desserts and smoothie recipes.
How to use date paste
I enjoy date paste on oat bran porridge, and the flavour also goes well with spiced porridge or slathered onto these oatcakes. Or you could add a layer of healthy date paste to this almond and yogurt parfait. Or just use the date spread as a healthy alternative to jam.
You can also use homemade date paste in baking recipes as a natural sugar substitute. One of my favourite date paste recipes is these date and oat slices which have a layer of date puree through the centre of a lovely chewy oat flapjack mixture.
Frequently asked questions
Dates are high in natural sugars, so do need to be eaten in moderation. But compared to processed sugar they are more nutrient dense and have less of an effect upon your blood sugar levels.
Dates are very nutritious and a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are good for digestion, and will help with blood sugar control.
Date paste can be used as a spread like jam. Enjoy it on your breakfast, or at any other time when you'd use a sweetener. It can also be used as a natural sweetener (sugar alternative) in baking recipes, or try adding it to smoothies.
Other recipes sweetened with dried fruit
Dried fruit is a natural way to sweeten your baking recipes and eliminate refined sugar.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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How to Make Date Paste
- Food processor or blender
- 200 ml dates stoned
- boiling water
- Cut the dates into pieces about the size of a sultana. Place in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Drain the dates, reserving the soaking water.
- Add the dates to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a small amount of soaking water to help them break down.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.