As the cold weather blows in I am turning up the heat in my kitchen and whipping up some delicious baked goods. There’s no time like the present to try new things and share fresh-out-of-the-oven goodies with friends and family! This holiday season, I am making intentional efforts to swap refined sugars for more nutrient-rich alternatives, like Medjool dates. Today we’re going to talk about how to make Medjool date paste, date syrup and of course the popular date caramel to add some flare and nutritional value to a few favorite holiday dishes.
For starters, let's talk about Medjool date paste. While it may sound unappealing to some, Medjool date paste can be used as a substitute for both table sugar and brown sugar. To make this paste, simply combine two cups of pitted, coarsely chopped Natural Delights Medjool Dates with half a cup of very hot water in a food processor. Blend to perfection and you have yourself a quick and easy sweetener. A few of my favorite recipes to use Medjool date paste in are:
Next up - Medjool date syrup! This is a great alternative for liquid sugars like honey, agave, simple syrup or maple syrup. While its sticky friends are not bad choices, this option has more health benefits and adds some nutritional value to your favorite sweet treats. To make this syrup, all you’ll need to do is boil six cups of water and four cups of Natural Delights Medjool Dates together. Carefully strain with a double layer of cheesecloth into a colander and press well. After setting aside for an hour and then bringing the liquid to a simmer for 30 minutes, the liquid will cool into a thick syrup. This syrup is great for sweetening anything from baked desserts to breakfast dishes. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to incorporate Medjool date syrup in:
Finally, the one you’ve all been waiting for… Medjool date caramel! For this trending recipe, you’ll combine Pitted Natural Delights Medjool Dates, your nut butter of choice, vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, water and a pinch of sea salt to make this iconic caramel come to life. Instead of refined sugar or corn syrup based fudge or caramel, opt for this Medjool date caramel to glaze over your next dessert. Click below to see how to use Medjool date caramel in baked goods this holiday season:
Whether you choose Medjool date paste, syrup, or caramel for your next baked creation, incorporate Medjool dates into your dish and enjoy nature’s candy! Sweet treats don’t have to be unhealthy to be delicious, so use one of these better-for-you alternatives and enjoy your desserts guilt-free.
Meet Natalia Toccoli, digital marketing manager for Natural Delights. As an avid baker, Natalia loves all things sweet, including Medjool dates of course! She even runs a bakery of her own. Her first days on the Natural Delights team were at our Harvest Tour in 2021 where she had the opportunity to learn all of the hard work that goes into making these sweet alternatives a reality.