How to Make Date Paste, a Healthy Sweetener, at Home
November 9, 2011

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Oftentimes, when I post a new featured ingredient or a new technique, I end up with a lot of questions. Apparently, date paste is no exception. I’m so, so glad that you guys are excited about using it, and about the banana caramel bread pudding recipe! Rather than fielding the questions I got one-by-one, I thought I’d take a moment to respond to everybody here on the blog. Hope you’ll find it helpful.

1) How long can this date paste be stored for? And does it have to be stored in the fridge?

A good rule of thumb is when in doubt, store things in the fridge (perhaps with the exception of crackers, cookies, and things you’ve dehydrated.) I always store baked goods in the fridge, for example, because I find that they last twice as long that way (especially lower fat baked goods, which tend to go “off” more quickly).

To wit, yes, you should store your date paste in the fridge, and I’d say it’ll be useable for at least a whole week. If you’re consistently putting it to good use, I doubt it would last much longer, anyway!

2) Can date paste replace any sweetener in baking? If I make muffins with maple syrup, can I replace it with the paste? If it can replace, would you use the same measurements?

In theory, yes, you can replace most sweeteners with date paste, but keep in mind that syrup sweeteners provide moisture as well as sugar, which means that you’ll need to thin the date paste out and get it to a consistency that is closer to syrup than to paste. Just keep adding water till you’re there. The date paste in the photo above has been thinned to a consistency that’s better for baking than, say, adding to raw desserts or smoothies.

The only danger with thinning date paste is that it will ultimately be less sweet than maple syrup or agave, so you may need to add more of it, or to use some stevia in addition. The best advice I can give you here is to experiment until you hit the perfect proportions!

3) Do you know the nutritional info/sugar content for date paste?

I don’t. But I’m sure that, if you count your dates as you make the paste (it’s about 60 kcal per medjool date), and then weigh the whole thing on a kitchen scale, then divide it up into even portions, you can figure this out.

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4) For the date paste, do you blend with the soaking water, or do you drain the dates first and then blend?

I blended mine with soak water, as it’s already sweet.

5) Have you ever toyed around with date syrup? You can buy it online and seems like it might be cheaper than making your own.

Nope. But now that I know, I’ll check it out! The thing I like about making my own is that I control consistency, and often I want something thicker than a syrup, but this is a great alternative to more delicate cakes and muffins that demand a syrup sweetener, rather than a denser paste.

6) What else can I use this magical date paste for?

Smoothies, muffins, quickbreads, raw desserts (like puddings, pie fillings, and parfaits), raw donut holes and bars, salad dressings that are on the sweeter side, puddings of any variety, and dips. Pretty much anything!

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And now, a couple of questions about my bread pudding:

1) Can this be microwaved?

Not sure, but I suspect there is a way. Experiment with it, and let me know what you find out!

2) Can I use pumpkin in place of banana?

Absolutely! I think that sounds great, but if you do it, you may need to increase the sweetness a bit.

3) Can I soak overnight and bake in the morning?

I haven’t done it, but it sounds totally doable to me.

4) I only have light coconut milk on hand though…I’m assuming this might be too thin to use, since you specified that it should be full fat?

Well, the milk in the banana/date liquid should be light coconut milk or almond. The idea with the 2 tbsp of full fat at the end is to add some serious creaminess. But you could probably just use regular.

I hope this is all helpful! And don’t worry: I plan to make many versions of this dessert/breakfast in the coming weeks, so I’ll have more variations and tips for you soon.

Have a great hump day, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for my first ever sweet raw cracker recipe.

xo

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    23 Comments
  1. hey GENA; would you PLEASE email how you make the DATE PASTE. THANKS SO MUCH,LOVE YOUR BLOG. DAVID

  2. so glad you did the follow up to the date paste I was so intrigued and can’t wait to try it. I’m more of skimmer when I read but I always hang on your every word. so much information and thought is put into every post. Happy almost weekend!

  3. Great post, Gena! Totally agree – date paste will last about a week in the fridge. I got a bit excited one time and made a huuuuge batch that started growing little dots in it because I didn’t eat it fast enough! I haven’t made that mistake again…

    Date paste is the bomb.

  4. Date syrup is a middle eastern goodie–I was raised on it like I mentioned. But I think that it’s quite different from date paste really: it seems to have undergone some serious boiling. I also think some brands have some sugar added–the last jar of it I looked at had sugar in the ingredient list. Date paste is more versatile and nicer to control it yourself too…

  5. There are dates here at the farmers market khadrawy dates that are so moist that they don’t need soaking. If you can get your hands on some of them, I’d highly recommend.

  6. I got turned onto date paste by Chef Aj, a pastry chef who uses mainly dates and date paste and date syrup for all of her incredible concoctions. When I made it myself, it lasted for a VERY long time in the refridgerator. Weeks and weeks. And it was fine . . . am I weird???

  7. Finding raw vegan ingredients here in Paris is a challenge. However we are very lucky when it comes to date paste. You can find it in most health food stores, and it only costs 2.50euros for half a kilo, as opposed to Medjool dates (usually imported from California) which run about 25euros per kilo.

    I use this paste all the time. It is quite thick and can be sliced thinly to lay onto crackers, etc. I like to make simple “turtles” by simple sandwiching in side a couple of pecan halves.

    By the way, this is my first time posting, though I have been reading, and loving, your blog for over a year. Brava and thanks Gena for all your inspiration.