Date syrup is a healthy, delicious & natural sweetener made with dates. Use it over pancakes, desserts, ice creams and a lot more. The options are endless! Date syrup is somewhat of a lesser-known sweetener that deserves the attention of individuals seeking to enjoy healthy alternatives to sugar. While it is available at some grocery and health food markets, it may not be familiar to most, though there are a great many reasons to give it a try. It is really delicious and has a number of health benefits.
Dates syrup is a natural sweetener made with just 2 ingredients – Dates and water. Although this alternative sweetener is not necessarily low in calories it is a natural sugar that has the added benefit of being less processed than white sugar. Beyond that, it is certainly a healthier option than granulated sugar which has little nutritional value.
Date are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, and other trace minerals. It stands to reason that date syrup delivers some of these valuable nutrients, making it a good nutritional choice.
There is evidence to support a long history that is associated with date syrup. Also known as date molasses or date honey, it is commonly used in the Middle East where date are widely available, dating back centuries.
A number of companies throughout the world produce and bottle date syrup including a number of Indian and California-based companies where dates are known to flourish.
For those who are familiar with it, and wish to make it at home or for those who have never tried it, this recipe will show you how easy it is to make it with just a couple of ingredients and a very simple process.
Consisting of nothing more than dates and water, this process is as simple as rinsing then soaking dates in hot water to soften them. Once soft, they are simply mashed well which extracts a great deal of the sweetness from the fruit.
It is then filtered through cheesecloth or fine muslin which will allow the liquid to pass through. After this first pressing, the pulp is then rehydrated again, extracting the remainder of the liquid which is collected
At this point, you will notice that the liquid is quite thin and watery. In order to make this into a syrup, you must simmer the syrup in a pan until a thick consistency is achieved, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
After several minutes over medium heat, you will notice that syrup will thicken considerably the outcome should look much like honey. At that point, your date syrup is ready to enjoy!
How to Make Date Syrup (Stepwise Photos)
1. Add dates to a large bowl and pour boiling hot water over them. Soak for at least 2 hours until softened.
2. Once they soften, mash them well with a masher. They should be completely soft.
3. Strain the liquid through a nut bag or a thin muslin cloth.
4. Squeeze it well to extract any liquid. You may also rehydrate the pulp again and extract the juice once more.
5. Transfer the strained liquid to a pot and bring it to a boil on a medium heat.
6. Keep string at regular intervals to prevent burning at the bottom.
7. Boil the mixture until it becomes thick. The right consistency is to be as thick as honey. It took 11 mins for me on a medium high flame.
Cool this completely and transfer to air tight glass jar and refrigerate.
How to use Date Syrup
Dates syrup is more than a sweetener. It brings a unique flavor along with a beautiful caramel color to your table. It is delicious on pancakes, bread, or baked goods. You can also drizzle it over ice cream or swirl it into yogurt.
Use it to sweeten a smoothie or enhance a bowl of oatmeal. Sliced apples dipped in date syrup makes a perfect snack. You can also use date syrup in your baking, substituting it for honey or other sweeteners. Homemade granola sweetened with dates syrup will take on a beautiful color and flavor.
You can feel good about serving date syrup to your children, including babies. Because it is derived from natural dates it is a good option sweetener. Add to that its iron and fiber content and you have a perfect option, even for infants.
Another way to use date syrup is to sweeten coffee. Whether enjoying it hot or over ice, date syrup adds a subtle caramel note to coffee beverages that complements it quite nicely.
Once you have tasted it you will certainty agree that it deserves a place in your kitchen. You will find yourself reaching for it as you would molasses or honey.
How to use the pulp
Once you have extracted the liquid from the dates that you will turn into your delicious date syrup you will be left with the remaining pulp. This byproduct of making dates syrup will not have the sweetness that you associate with dates as they will have given up their natural sugar.
However, what you are left with can and should be saved for use in smoothies. You can also add a bit of the date syrup back in to the pulp to create a sort of jam that won’t be quite as sweet, but will still have a good amount of fiber and nutrients.
Use this in your oatmeal or spread it on to a piece of toast. Finally, if nothing else, you can simply compost the pulp and feel good about doing something for the environment.
How to Store Date Syrup
Once you have strained and reduced your syrup to your desired consistency, it is important to store it in a glass jar with a lid and keep it refrigerated. It is best used within three weeks.
Once you have tried this delicious, sweet syrup you will be sure to enjoy it in a number of ways. From beverages to smoothies and baked goods, it is a great sweetener to have on hand and one that you will feel good about using for yourself and your family.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup dates seedless / pitted dates (250 grams)
- 1 cup water , hot boiling
How to Make Date Syrup
- Soak dates in boiling hot water for about 2 hours. If using a softer variety like medjol you can soak only for a while.
- Mash the dates using a masher. Strain through a nut bag or a muslin cloth, placed over a strainer. Squeeze the pulp well to extract the juices.
- Place the pulp back to the soaking bowl and add more water. Mash up and strain again.
- Add this water to a heavy bottom pot. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat.
- Boil this until the mixture thickens and reaches a thick consistency. It will thicken further upon cooling.
- When done it becomes glossy and thick. Cool and pour dates syrup to a clean air tight jar.
- Refrigerate and use date syrup as required on your toasts, cakes, smoothies, ice creams and pancakes.
- Do not over boil; else the syrup will be burnt
- While boiling, the mix looks frothy and white, do not worry, it will settle down once cool and you will get a glossy syrup
- Keep refrigerated. It lasts in the fridge for 2 to 3 months.
- Do not blend the dates, you won’t be able to extract the juice. It is easier to extract the juice from mashed dates.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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