Dates. They are like nature’s pure sugar, except with great health benefits. They are full of fiber, nutritionally dense, and have a low glycemic index. Guilt free, natural sweetener.
Making date sugar couldn’t be any simpler. I buy a 40 oz bag of pitted dates from BJ’s. I used to buy a small 12 oz bag of Medjool Dates from the grocery store, which was enough to make about 1 week worth of sugar. The grocery store bag ran about $6.99 for the 12 oz versus BJ’s brand is $7.99 for 40 oz, so if you have a local wholesale store definitely check it out.
There are differences between Medjool dates and pitted dates but I have no desire to reinvent the wheel. If you are interested in more information or the differences between them check out this great article from My Well Being Journal here.
Before I changed to the BJ’s brand dates, I used to buy Medjool dates with pits. I would cut them in half, remove the pits, and dice them. I started dicing them after missing a pit or two. My food processor really hated that. They work fine as well. I’d say the date to water ratio was a little different so if you go with Medjool dates (with pits removed by you), play around with the water to date ratio until you find what works for you. The recipe below is going to be based on pitted dates.
So now that I use pitted dates, I still dice them because sometimes there’s still pits. Better safe than to make a giant mess. I assume that everyone’s food processor jumps around like crazy and sprays sticky date water all over when you accidentally miss a pit, right? Or maybe I just need a new food processor. That’s the thing about getting stuff as wedding gifts. 7 years down the road and you start realizing all your stuff needs replaced soon, haha.
The steps are really simple. Dice about 2 cups of dates. I’d say about 40 pitted dates total. Place these right into your food processor and pour in about 1 cup of water. Puree until they come to your desired texture. If you are going to use them in place of sugar in a baked good, on toast, or in oatmeal, thicker will be just fine. This is how I make mine. If you use it for coffee or tea, you may want to add a little more water to thin it out. Personally, I leave mine thicker (mostly for oatmeal) and still put it in my coffee. Once it is at the texture I prefer, I place mine into a mason jar and keep it in the fridge for a week or more.
Does It Go Bad says dates last in the fridge 6-12 months and on a counter top for 1-3 months. Since you are just adding water, I can’t imagine it will go bad, but frankly, it probably will disappear before it has the chance! Oh, one last thing, don’t just rinse off your food processor lid. Scrap that off with the spatula too! I’ve found that the lid has a good 2-3 tbsp of date sugar splashed across the top.
- about 40 pitted dates*
- 1 (ish) cup of water*
- Dice up dates and place them into a food processor. Add in 1 cup of water.
- Puree until dates become desired texture. Generally looking for a thick syrup like texture.
- Scrap date sugar into a mason jar and save for 1 week+.
*Not the world’s most exact recipe, sorry. See notes in post for more detail.