Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Date Paste: A Natural Sweetener

I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this vegan thing. Lunches are more quickly prepared from leftovers or fresh produce we have available and I'm starting to take steps away from the basics and experiment a little more with dinners and baked goods. 

Lately I've been trying to find ways to sweeten dishes without using sugar. I want to use natural sweeteners as much as possible and I've learned that dates are a great source of natural sugar. Sometimes I'll chop one or two up and cook them in my morning, stove-top oats or I'll add them to smoothies. However, I've found that when I cook them whole I sometimes run into a hard piece of the outer coating. Not bad, but not my favorite. 

I recently heard of date paste (great name, right?) and finally got around to making some. It's made simply by throwing soaked dates and a little water into a food processor and blending it all up until smooth. Now I can just mix in a teaspoon or so into my morning oats or add a dollop to smoothies. I'm even going to make some caramel sauce with it to drizzle on apples and popcorn so stay tuned!

Date Paste
(Makes 1 heaping cup)


· 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
· Warm water

1.  Place all the dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak in the refrigerator for 8 hours until soft and naturally falling apart.
2. Remove the dates from the water after they have soaked and place in a food processor.
3. Add a couple tablespoons of the soaked date water and process on high. You will have to stop the processor and push down the dates a couple of times.
4. Continue to process until smooth, adding water a spoonful at a time if needed.
5. Store in an air tight container for up to a week or freeze for up to three months.

how to:

Cover the dates with warm water and let them soak for eight hours or more in the fridge.


Place the dates in a food processor with two tablespoons of the date water and process on high.

Stop occasionally to push down the sides of the processor so that all of the dates can get processed.

Continue to process the dates until a smooth paste forms. If need be, add a tablespoon of water at a time until a smooth consistency is reached.

Store in an air tight container for up to a week or freeze for up to three months. 
You could even freeze it in teaspoon or tablespoon sized-portions so you can easily thaw
out the amount you need.

Eat Consciously,

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