Make a Date with Date Paste!
I’m going to tell you a secret: I used to try to health-ify every single thing I ate. You know, applesauce instead of oil, whole grains instead of refined, omitting or cutting out the sugar.
Sometimes it worked okay, sometimes it was horrible, and most of the time it just made me feel a little deprived and stressed out.
Those days are far behind me, but my love for experimenting in the kitchen and trying to make healthy stuff that a three year old will eat are not.
Enter: Date paste.
What is date paste? What are the health benefits?
What is it? Dates, the Medjool variety works well, soaked in water for a few hours and then blended into a paste.
Uh…why? Because dates are naturally sweet (they don’t call them Nature’s Candy for nothing!) and they actually make a pretty decent substitute for sugar in some cases.
And, this is really, really important, research has shown they have a low glycemic index and, according to the study’s authors, “their consumption by diabetic individuals does not result in significant postprandial glucose excursions.” That means they don’t cause blood sugar spikes, and can potentially be a healthy option for you if you have type 2 diabetes.
Dates are also rich in fiber, potassium, iron, and B vitamins, among other things, which is awesome.
Did I sell it? Are you interested in checking out date paste now?
Here’s what you need to know about date paste
You can find dates in the regular old grocery store. In some markets they can be found in the produce section, often in a large box where you can use tongs to choose how many you want, and you put them in a produce bag and have them weighed just like your other produce items.
Sometimes they’re in the bulk section, often in prepacked pre-weighed containers, and if you can’t find them in either of those places, try the dried fruit section where the raisins are. And you don’t have to get the Medjool dates I mentioned earlier, any variety will do.
You can either make a container of date paste to have on hand for various recipes, or you can follow a recipe that includes blending the dates right in with the other ingredients, like these Chocolate Walnut Brownies.
According to one resource I found online, you can use date paste on a one-to-one ratio when it comes to replacing regular granulated sugar, however, depending on how much water you use to make date paste, this may not be entirely accurate.
My suggestion is that rather than trying to use date paste in the recipes you’ve been making for years, the ones passed down by your grandmother, you search for new recipes specifically designed to use date paste. That way, you’re not disappointed in the final result, and can experiment later, after you’ve been using it for a while.
Speaking of the internet: it’s filled with recipes using dates! Search for “date-sweetened desserts” or “recipes using dates instead of sugar” and you’ll get plenty of options. You can also search for “how to make date paste” for detailed directions.
We love using date paste in our house, and I hope you do, too!
Have you experienced any complications associated with your diabetes?