Homemade Natural Sweetener: Date Syrup
Date syrup is so easy and simple to make that I am almost embarrassed for calling it a recipe. You only need 2 ingredients. Dates and water. That's it!
Date syrup can be made a few different ways. Katherine, from Green Thickies, made her syrup from soaking the dates in water for 24 hours. While this may seem like the easiest method, it doesn't yield that thick, runny texture that I love in syrup. The kind that just oozes down your pancakes and swims around your mouth, teasing your taste buds.
I have also experimented with blending dates in the Blendtec, which gives a nice syrup as well. However, if you don't have a high powered blender, try my recipe below. It's simple. It's yummy. I'll raise an eyebrow, but not your blood sugar levels.
What's the Best Natural Sweetener?
There are a lot of debates out there when it comes to deciding to which natural sweetener is a better alternative. Should you use honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar? Then there's Stevia, molasses, and sugarcane.
My personal view is that the closer you get to a natural food sources as a sweetener, the better situation you are in. As long as you are not consuming white refined sugar or corn fructose syrup, you are many steps ahead of the game.
Date syrup is a great alternative to sugar since it has plenty of nutritional value including vitamins, mineral, and fiber. You are basically consuming the fruit in a different form that has not been processed.
I have only discovered the use of date syrup recently. I've been pretty good about substituting raw honey (from my local farmer) in my dessert recipes, and pouring pure maple syrup everywhere especially homemade pancakes.
I use dates so often for making raw, no bake energy bars. It makes an excellent binder due to its sticky texture. I love using dates as a substitution for sugar wherever I can because of its extreme sweet profile. I even throw them in my smoothies! It just dawned on me to search for ways to make date syrup.
So here it is, folks. A simple and easy recipe for date syrup. Enjoy! Cheers to your health!
Making Date Syrup with Blender
- 8 large Medjool dates
- 1 1/4 cups of filtered water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Let's do it:
- Soak dates in a bowl of warm filtered water for half an hour so it softens up. Add the dates and water mixture, along with the lemon in a high speed blender. Blend it for about 45 seconds until it is smooth.
- If you want a thicker consistency, similar to a sauce that you can use as a dip, use less water. Try about 1/4 cup.
*Note: If you want a smooth syrup consistency, I would suggest using a high speed blender such as the Blendtec or Vitamix. I have a Blendtec and it works great. I have tried doing this with my older Oster blender and it did not yield the same result. However, if you don't care about the consistency, you can even throw it all in the food processor and still whip up something magical.
What about the sugar in dates?
Dates are sweet and commonly called "nature's candy." It tastes like a combination of sugar and honey. There are many health benefits to eating dates. Did you know that dates have more potassium than a banana? It's also high in vitamin A, calcium, and fiber. Although it is very sweet, the natural sugars do not cause a spike in your body's blood sugar.
According to this study, there are potential benefits of dates for diabetics when eaten sensibly in a healthy balanced diet.
Dates have a lower glycemic index, according to a research.
Ways to Enjoy Your Date Syrup
So now that you've made your date syrup, share it with your friends and family. Perhaps they would be surprised and impressed with your concoction.
There are so many ways you can use your natural sweetener.
- Pour it on oatmeal, pancakes
- Add it to your smoothies to sweeten it up
- Substitute it for sugar in your muffins and cookies recipes
- Add it to homemade granola
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