Dates are an amazingly nutritious fruit enjoyed all over the world. They are also very healthy loaded with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, and fiber. In fact one date fruit has 25% more potassium than a banana. Dates are also naturally fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free and make an incredible way to naturally sweeten things without the high calories and fat found in other sugary and sweet foods. Dates have been known to aid blood sugar keeping it balanced.
If you are looking for a natural alternative to other sweeteners like sugar, agave, honey, or stevia, you may really love date paste. You can make it fresh anytime, simply by adding hot water and soaking them. I use 1/2 cup of warm water to 1 cup of dates. Once soaked and softened you can remove the pits, and puree the dates until a nice paste forms. This paste can be used in anything you would typically use sugar or natural sweeteners. By removing the white sugar from your diet and incorporating this natural fruit sugar you will be helping your body, while also reducing your risk for obesity. Dates are naturally rich in pectin, a fiber found in the sticky syrup of dates. Date Paste can be used for a number of culinary uses besides a sweetener, including a natural thickener, and gelling agent, which works great in baked goods, cookies, cakes, pastries, breads jams, jellies, smoothies and more.
Dates are a fruit of the date palm tree, and have been consumed for thousands of years. They are most oftenly grown in dry subtropical conditions. Typically dates are dark reddish brown, oval in size, and about 1 1/2 inches long. The date skin is wrinkled and coated with a sticky and waxy film. This soft, syrupy and extremely sweet fruit is consumed raw and does not need to be heated or cooked. When dates grow they are in large clusters found low beneath the fronds of the date palm tree.
Dates are a wonderfully rich and sweet fruit with all the taste of sugar, without the harmful effects of it. They are also a delicious and nourishing, and a super healthy sweet snack. These are perfect to carry for kids, and adults on the go, and transport very well. I love using pureed dates or date paste in salad dressings, sauces, smoothies and so much more. Be creative and see how you can incorporate dates into your life.