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Imagine a whole food ingredient sweet enough to replace sugar in a ratio of 1:1 and packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber. Date syrup is arguably the healthiest sugar alternative. Not only does it fight AGAINST weight gain, but it’s gut healing and blood-sugar stabilizing too.
Are Dates Actually Healthy?
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 effects on their blood sugar levels or weight gain occurred.
In fact, it was quite the opposite! Some subjects’ digestion actually improving! (1). This is attributed, in part, to the high fiber 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.
Sweeten Anything With A Clear Conscience
Date Syrup is Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30, and Digestion Supporting. In short, my simple date syrup recipe allows you to sweeten just about anything with a clear conscience!
How Long Can I Store This Date Syrup For?
I have to say, this is one of the simplest and most rewarding things to do. I always make sure there’s a stash stored in the fridge. This date syrup can be stored in the fridge for approximately 2 weeks as long as it’s bottled in an airtight container.
Are Dates Healthier Than Artificial Sweeteners?
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 are artificial and non-caloric sweeteners. NutritionFacts.org tested 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 from gut-related disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or IBD’s like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.
People may not realize artificial sweeteners could negatively alter their gut. A scary thought is how this may affect and increase the rate of inflammatory gut incidences in relatively healthy individuals. Luckily, the test showed that discontinuing these artificial sweeteners restored the original balance of gut bacteria within weeks.
What Type of Dates Must I Use?
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 fewer calories and be free from processing or chemical drying.
- Calories: 277 Calories
- Protein: 2g
- Carbs: 75g
- Fiber: 7g
- Sugar: 68g
- 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:
14 dates or a 3.5 ounce serving (100g)
- Protein 2g 1.5% 1.5%
- Carbohydrates 75g 50% 50%
- of Which Sugar is 68g 45% 45%
- Fiber 7g 5% 5%
Date Syrup Recipe
- Blender or food processor
- 1 Handful Dates Preferably fresh, but dried ones will work too.
- 1 Cup Water Add enough water to cover all the dates.
- 1 Teaspoon Flavor This is an added extra, not essential. Try Vanilla, Cinnamon, Spices, Pinch of Salt (for a caramel taste), Cacao (for a chocolate version).
- Heat the datesCover the dates with enough water and make sure all pipes are removed. If you have stubborn pips, don't worry, you can remove them later. Add in whatever other flavors you've chosen at this point.
- Simmer on lowEventually, 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.
- Blend once softPlace 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.
- Turn into liquid syrupKeep topping up with more water and blending further until great pouring consistency is reached. You can also keep the end product as a paste and thin it out just before using it.
Date Syrup Uses
Sweetened Almond milk, Sweetened Coconut milk, As a topping on Pancakes. Basically, any situation in baking where sugar is required. Check out my Almond Flour Cookies or Chocolate Blocks recipes. In Homemade Ketchup. Recently I dicovered how easy it is to make your own microwave popcorn and adding date syrup to the brown bag will create a great kettle popcorn alternative.