A Guide To Date Paste
Dates are a healthy and natural sweetener with a lot more benefits than you might think. While they are very sweet and high in sugar, it’s the type of sugar that is easily digestible and doesn’t spike blood sugar levels as refined sugars do. They are also high in dietary fiber, minerals like selenium, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin B-complex and vitamin C, and lots of antioxidants.
Date paste takes some extra work to make and making this natural sweetener is less convenient than just purchasing highly processed refined sugar at the store, but it is worth the extra effort for all the health benefits it has to offer. If you would like to reduce processed sugars from your diet or even go as far as going completely sugar-free, this article will teach you what you need to know about dates, date paste, and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Benefits of Dates
Vitamins + Minerals
Dates are a good source of minerals like selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and iron. 100 grams of dates can provide over 15% of the recommended daily allowance from these minerals, think 6-8 dates.
They are also a good source of vitamin B-complex and vitamin C.
Fiber + Gut Health
Dates are high in dietary fiber (8g/100g), insoluble dietary fiber to be exact. Which has benefits of weight loss, digestive health, and regular bowel movements.
Dates feed our good gut flora with prebiotics (dietary plant fibers) which means better gut health. They also contain polyphenols (antioxidant phytonutrients) that increase colon health (due to beneficial bacteria growth) which has been shown to inhibit colon cancer cell growth.
Dates are a high source of energy and have no adverse effects on blood sugar or weight. They have also shown beneficial improvements in triglycerides, which when stored are released for energy between meals.
Dates are also a good source of antioxidants, specifically carotenoids, and phenolics. Which helps protect us from disease and boost immune health.
Resources: NutritionFacts.org + NutritionFacts.Org + NIH
The Different Kinds Of Dates
Dates come in many different varieties, with over 200 different kinds of dates. The most common dates grown and sold in the United States are Medjool dates and Deglet Noor dates.
The Medjool variety is native to Morocco. They have a rich caramel taste and are larger than Deglet Noor dates and softer and moister.
The Deglet Noor variety is native to Algeria. They are semi-dry dates and compared to Medjool they are not as sweet, but still offer a sweet delicate flavor.
What Is Date Paste?
Date paste is a delicious, all-natural sweetener made from pitted dates and typically water. It is a great sugar substitute since it is minimally processed and is not stripped of its fiber content like refined sugars.
How To Make Date Paste?
Date paste is super easy to make. Homemade date paste only calls for 2 ingredients, dates and water. Depending on what the date paste recipe is being used for, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract are optional add-ins to enhance the recipe.
To make this recipe you pour hot water over the pitted dates, this helps soften them making the dates easier to blend. Then blend the dates in a blender until smooth (this is also when you would add in any additional add-ins).
To learn how to make date paste from scratch, check out the recipe here.
How To Use Date Paste
Date paste can be used to naturally sweeten recipes, like baked goods, beverages (like coffee, lattes, and hot cocoa), or sauces that call for a sweetener. We use date paste to naturally sweeten our deliciously dense gluten-free zucchini muffins.
Date paste lasts a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, but it can also be made in a large batch, and frozen into smaller servings so you always have some ready to go.
Date Paste, Final Words
Date paste is a natural sweetener and a healthy alternative to refined sugar. There are many health benefits to adding dates and date paste to your diet, like antioxidants, gut health, and a sweet source of nutrients and minerals.
It's time to stop disrupting your gut flora and spiking inflammation with refined sugar and kick it to the curb. Instead start benefiting from these delicious pockets of nutrient-dense sweetness, dates.
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