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10 Different Ways To Use Dates

10 Different Ways To Use Dates

If you're in to healthy baking and searching our refined sugar alternatives, you might already be familiar with the many amazing uses of dates. As well as being incredibly versatile, dates are high in fibre and a great source of essential minerals. Meaning they're healthy too! 

Dates can be used in everything from cakes to salads, puddings to stews, and of course - as a healthy snack. You don't want to go overboard and snack on too many dates because they are high in sugar (albeit natural sugar - not refined). But if you're looking for ways to cut down on refined sugar, or just like discovering new ways to use a familiar fruit - here are 10 different ways to use dates:

1. Make Date Syrup

A great and much better tasting (in my opinion) alternative to sweeteners, honey, molasses or other syrupy mixes. Soak a cup of pitted dates in half a cup of water for a few hours or until soft, and then blend until you get a smooth, sticky texture, you may need to add more water as you go. Medjool or Deglet Noor seem to work best, but most dried dates will do. 

2. Sugar Alternative 

Use date syrup to pour over cereals, toast, into yoghurt or onto pancakes. Dates also go great blended into smoothies for a natural, vegan sweetener or incorporate into your baking. Chopping a handful of dates and adding to your cakes, cookies, brownies etc can give them a gooey texture, a slight caramel taste and satisfy your sweet tooth - what more could you want!?

3. Fudge

Raw, vegan, soft and chewy - absolute heaven! Simply blend pitted dates and cacao powder together to form a sticky, chocolatey mixture that resembles (healthy) fudge. Sprinkle with dessicated coconut or mix with chopped cashew nuts for extra flavour

4. Stews

Just as they have been used for years in middle-eastern cooking, dates make a great addition to stews, tagines or in the slow cooker with a range of spices. I love adding dates to a chickpea tagine - yum! 

5. Stuffed

Remove the pits from the dates and stuff them with tasty fillings such as pistachios, peanut butter, coconut or my favourite - goat's cheese

6. Salted Caramel Sauce

Soak the dates in water for a few hours then add to a blender with a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, a ¼ cup of almond milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and a tsp of lemon juice then blend until smooth and creamy

7. Cheesecake Base 

Dates sticky texture makes a great base for cheesecake, usually a sugar-filled, naughty dessert. You can transform this into a healthy treat for all by combining 1 cup of macadamia nuts or walnuts (or both), a cup of pitted dates and a pinch of salt to a blender

8. Curry

As dates go extremely well with spices, when making a homemade curry, stir through pitted dates towards the end for added flavour and texture. I've heard this works very well with a beef curry, though I've never tried at is as I don't eat meat. 

9. Salads

Toss pitted, sliced dates into a salad with soft cheese, avocado and a balsamic glaze for a healthy lunch

10. Sticky Toffee Pudding

A classic, using dates makes the ultimate sticky toffee pudding thanks to their naturally sweet, sticky and caramel tasting nature

Do you know any more ways to use your dates? I’d love to hear your ideas and get some more inspiration for using dates, share your recipes or tips by leaving me a comment below...

  #Food & Drink   #Gluten free   #healthy   #fruit   #vegetarian   #vegan   #sugar   #Cooking & baking tips   #sweet   #dates

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