Health Benefits of Dates and Date Paste Recipes
Health Benefits of Dates
Throughout history dates have been revered as an ideal food. They may be small in size but they are a powerhouse of nutrients! Not only do dates provide super sweet tastiness to anything they are added to, but they also provide a multitude of goodness for your health. Dates are a great natural, plant based substitute to conventional sweeteners like white sugar. White sugar contains no nutrients what so ever – dates on the other hand….
- are easily digested
- a good source of fiber
- help prevent the “bad” cholesterol (LDL)
- contain 15 minerals including iron, selenium, magnesium, copper
- one of the fruits containing 23 types of amino acids- the building blocks of life
- are full of nutrients such as Vitamins A, B’s K, potassium, flavonoids, antioxidants…
Whip up some Date Paste, store in the fridge and use anytime your dish or drink calls for some sweetness. One of my favorites is to add date paste to my breakfast bowl of oatmeal, millet, or quinoa. Or, use in smoothies, nut milk, chia pudding and desserts. The possibilities are endless! What do you use it in?
Basic Date Paste Recipe (makes about 1 cup)
- 1 cup pitted dates
- filtered water (enough to cover the dates)
To make date paste, place 1 cup pitted dates in a bowl. Add enough water to just barely cover the dates and allow to soak until dates are softened. Depending on how dry the dates are will determine how long it should be soaked-which may typically be anywhere between 10 minutes – 30 minutes or more. Warm – hot water will speed up the process. Once dates are softened add them, along with the water they’re soaked in, to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. For best results, scrape down the sides a couple of times. If not using right away store covered in the fridge four – five days.
Flavor it up by adding in:
spices, such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg
vanilla, cacao, coconut
Lemon Date Paste
(makes about 2 cups)
- 2 cups dates, pitted
- juice of 1 medium to large lemon (typically gives 1/4-1/3 cup of juice)
Place the dates in a shallow bowl and add the fresh lemon juice. Allow to soak at a minimum 15 minutes and max 1 hour. The longer it’s soaked the more tart and lemony the paste will be. Once soaked add dates, along with the juice to a blender or food processor and blend well until you get a smooth paste.