Most of you are familiar with maple syrup and honey but you may never have heard of medjool dates. And these little gems are so sweet and tasty that I really want you to hear about them!
While dates are high in sugar, they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber that slows the absorption and release of sugar in the body. This means they cause a smaller blood sugar spike than they would if they did not contain fiber. To you, this translates as less foggy headedness and little to no energy crash after eating them.
Essentially everyone can eat 2-3 dates per day without negatively affecting blood sugar levels. And the fun part is that you’ll actually be satisfied with 2-3 because of the fiber and other nutrients they contain.
The higher fiber content (about 7% fiber) also helps prevent or relieve constipation so that your poops look more like solid sausages rather than the dates themselves.
Aside from fiber, dates are rich in minerals, which most of us are lacking with today’s typical diet. They contain nearly double the amount of potassium of a banana! Other minerals dates have are magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc.
Dates also contain health supporting vitamins A, B, and K, as well as fatty and amino acids. They have been scientifically proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and play a role in preventing or reducing the risk of multiple diseases.
With all of this nutrition crammed into these guys, you’ve got to be thinking, “Where have these been all my life and why didn’t I know about them?”
It’s actually crazy that dates aren’t that popular in North America when you think about the fact that they are possibly the oldest food on the planet. There are thousands of varieties of dates but Deglet Noor and Medjool are the most common. Medjool is softer and sweeter and therefore better for snacking. Deglet Noor are cheaper and work fine chopped up in muffins or cookies.
So, how do you add dates into your life? They make a great energy-giving snack in the mid-afternoon, either on their own or with some nut or seed butter and are lovely when added to smoothies. They have a wonderful caramel flavour to them. Yum.
You can buy granulated date sugar but that is a better option that is less processed. And arguably more delicious: date paste.
Date paste is super simple, quick to make and you can start adding it anywhere you previously used sugar.
It offers a more flavourful and complex sweetness than plain sugar that will have people asking what you put in your recipes to make them taste so good. That’s what makes it your secret ingredient 🙂
It is delicious in sweet recipes such as muffins, cookies, granola bars, homemade nut milk or smoothies. But it also works great in savory dishes by adding a hint of sweetness to sauces or dressings.
You can find Medjool dates in packages in the produce section of most grocery stores.
- Dates (Medjool or Deglet Noor)
- Filtered water
- Remove the pits from the dates
- Pack a glass jar with the dates
- Fill the jar with filtered water
- Store in the fridge overnight
- Pour contents of jar into a blender
- Add some water, 1 tbsp at a time, if too thick
- Store date paste in a jar in the fridge
- You can keep this recipe plain Jane and not use anything other than dates. Or you can try using a pinch of vanilla bean powder, cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. Add them in when you are blending.
- If you want a quicker version, pour boiling water over the dates and leave on the counter for about an hour instead of in the fridge overnight.
Jessica Stopard http://jessicastopard.com/