Free From Everything But Flavor…
Date Syrup is Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30 and Digestion Supporting.
Imagine a whole food ingredient sweet enough to replace sugar in a ratio of 1:1 and packed with antioxidants, nutrients and fibre. Date syrup is arguably the healthiest sugar alternative. Not only does it fight AGAINST weight gain, but it’s gut healing and blood-sugar stabilising too.
I know what you’re thinking, even though dates are plant-based they’re still majority sugar, 80% to be exact, however, In a test study done feeding subjects an average of 7 dates a day for over a month, no bad affects on their blood-sugar levels or weight gain occurred. In fact it was quite the opposite, with some subjects digestion actually improving! (1). This is attributed, in part , to the high fibre content preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stools and slowing digestion down. Dates also prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating.
In short, my simple date syrup recipe allows you to sweeten just about anything with a clear conscience!
About This Date Syrup Recipe:
I have to say, this is one of the simplest and most rewarding things to make. I always make sure there’s a stash stored in the fridge. As long as it’s bottled in an airtight container, this date syrup can be stored in the fridge for weeks.
My inspiration for this recipe came from all the scrutiny and undesirable facts I’ve read lately surrounding sugar and high fructose corn syrup intake.
Also receiving bad press is artificial and non-caloric sweeteners. A test was done on sweeteners saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame, showing how they induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbes (2). After a few days, some people got exaggerated blood sugar responses and showed changes (within one week) to the type of bacteria they had in their gut. This may be of particular importance to patients suffering with gut related disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or IBD’s like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s. People may not realise artificial sweeteners could negatively alter their gut. A scary thought is how this may be affecting and increasing the rate of inflammatory gut incidences in relatively healthy individuals too. Luckily it was shown that discontinuing these artificial sweeteners, restored the original balance of gut bacteria within weeks.
Enough of all the boring scientific stuff, this recipe tastes delicious and will work well with both dried or fresh dates, fresh dates will however contain less calories and be free from processing or chemical drying.
Nutrition In Date Syrup:
Most of the calories in dates come from carbs, majority of which is fibre. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Dates also contain some important vitamins and minerals.
14 dates or a 3.5 ounce serving (100g) provides the following nutrients: (3)
- Calories: 277
- Carbs: 75 grams
- Fibre: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Potassium: 20% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
- Manganese: 15% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
Amounts per serving:
- Carbohydrates 75g 89% 89%
- of which is Sugar 68g 80% 80%
- and Fibre 7g 10% 10%
- Protien 2g 2% 2%
- Fat 0.4g 1% 1%
The Ingredients Needed:
A Handful of Dates, preferably fresh, but dried ones will work too.
Water, enough to cover.
Optional extra flavours: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Spices, Pinch of Salt (for a caramel taste), Cacao (for a chocolate version).
Shop for Equipment and Ingredients Needed:
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Heat up dates.
Cover the dates with enough water and make sure all pips are removed. If you have stubborn pips, don’t worry, you can remove them later. Add in whatever other flavours you’ve chosen at this point.
2. Simmer on low.
Eventually all the water will be soaked up by the dates, at this point you can top up with more water if necessary to make sure they’re all really soft.
3. Blend once soft.
Place all the softened (still warm) dates in a blender of your choice. If necessary, add extra water and blend further until the date paste is completely smooth.
4. Turn into liquid syrup.
Keep topping up with more water and blending further until a great pouring consistency is reached. You can also keep the end product as a paste and thin it out just before it’s going to be used .
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