Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Date Paste GF SCD

Dates

One of the oldest cultivated fruits, dates are the fruit of the date palm or Phoenix dactylifera. The exact origin of the first date palm is not known but references can be traced back as far as 5000-6000 B.C. in Iran, Egypt, and Pakistan. A few facts you may not know :

  • Depending on their moisture content, there are three types of date: soft, semi-dry and dry
  • More than 1,000 dates can grow on a single bunch
  • Date palms cover 3% of the world's cultivated surface
  • Four million tons of dates are grown annually
  • Medjool dates are considered to be the most high quality date available

Date Paste

Rich in nutrients and health benefits, dates are considered to be a perfect food and contrary to popular belief, they are actually low on the glycemic index and don't significantly raise blood sugar levels after they are eaten so made into a paste, dates are an excellent alternative to sugar and liquid sweeteners in many recipes.

Date Paste GF SCD

organic pitted dates
filtered water

I use a Mini Chopperto make small amounts of date paste and a standard sized processor or blender if I'm making a large batch.

Dates

Tip the dates into a bowl, cover with filtered water and leave for up to 12 hours until soft. Depending on the type of dates you are using the soaking time varies. I use "soft" dates and these are ready to process after a couple of hours but "dry" dates may take up to 12 hours to soften. If soaking for longer than a few hours, place the bowl in the fridge.

Soak the dates in water

Spoon the dates into the processor bowl or blender. Add a little of the soaking water and turn the machine on. Keep adding the soaking water as necessary to reach the required thickness.

Blend the dates and water

I make the paste quite thick 
when replacing sugar or liquid sweeteners in cakes and cookies as in my gingerbread men recipe.

Date Paste

Store covered in the fridge, it will keep for about a week or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You might be interested in these recipes which use date paste :




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23 comments:

  1. I love this date paste Vicky, I make sweet chutney with dates and tamarind, it is really yumm.

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    1. Thank you Swathi! And thank you for your suggestions.

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  2. I highly recommend deglet noor dates. Medjools are so sweet, they make my teeth hurt!

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    1. Do they? That is worth noting! Thank you for your recommendation.

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  3. When replacing sugar in a recipe how much date paste do you use to replace one cup of sugar to get the same results?

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    1. The guidelines for honey are up to 1 cup you can try replacing like for like quantities but for 1 cup or more you may need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by up to 6 tablespoons, I suppose it is trial and error and it depends on the recipe. Hope this helps.

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  4. Fascinating info, Vicky! I didn't even know that date trees were a type of palm. Silly me! For a long time before I started buying and using dates, I thought that you had to find and buy this date paste that was very unknown to me then. ;-)

    Shirley

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    1. Hi Shirley! I know where you are coming from! Since I've been married there has been a huge change in the types of food available and in the places we buy it. I remember working in a local indoor market at Christmas in my teens and we just sold local produce. Dates were expensive and certainly not generally available. We bought our vegetables at a local farm shop for years after we were married and I never imagined then that we would be able to buy the selection of produce we buy today!

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  5. I absolutely love date paste! Would you be interested in sharing this at Raw Foods Thursdays? It's a weekly link up event created for the purpose of sharing raw foods recipes. We'd love to have you join in!

    http://www.glutenfreecat.com/2013/02/raw-foods-thursdays-22113/

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  6. Hi Vicky!
    I remember my mom eating dates when I was a kid, but I never understood why she liked them so much until recently. Dates are so yummy; I'm in love now!

    I have never seen a date tree, nor did I realize so many grew together in one bunch. I'm off to Google...

    Hugs from the other side of the pond.
    xo,
    Megan

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    1. Hi Megan

      I've only really been eating them for the last couple of years and I totally agree, they are yummy - guess I've missed out for most of my life and fast making up for it now!

      Hugs back to you too

      Vicky xo

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  7. This looks YUMMY!! What a GREAT start to the link up this week! We hare some awesome recipes!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!


    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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  8. I am a recent convert to using date as a sweetener and I am all over making this date paste! Thanks for the helpful and interesting post.
    -Dana

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    1. Hi Dana! I never really ate dates up until a couple of years ago and now I just adore them as a sweetener! SO pleased you found the post helpful!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your recipe at Raw Foods Thursdays! I was excited to see you there!

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  10. I love dates, and I really like the idea of using them this way. As well as sweetening baking, it would add a fantastic flavour.

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    1. It's also nice to dip celery into! Hope you're having a lovely weekend April x

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  11. I just love dates! What a great recipe! Have a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  12. What a great alternative to sugar! I've pinned it for future reference. Thanks for sharing it with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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  13. What dates do you use? I have been using Whitworths but notice they contain palm oil for which there doesn't seem to be a clear answer whether it is legal or not?! Can you recommend a brand that you can buy in the supermarket? I got Sainsbury's medjool dates but they are so expensive!

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    1. HI

      I use Sainsbury's organic dates or Crazy Jack organic. Sainsbury's also do organic prunes, figs and apricots in similar packaging. They are usually near the pre-packed seeds and fruit snacks. It's important to use organic dates since some dates have a sugary coating and the organic ones are reliable. The SCD is expensive, unfortunately! I only buy the medjool dates at Christmas.

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