Dates are a fantastic whole food and they make a very useful sweetener. They are often used in Whole Food Plant Based cooking and baking instead of sugar.
When using them, you often want to blend them so that they are not an “ingredient” but more of a “flavour”. In this instance, you would soak your dates, then blend them to make a paste.
You can buy the paste in a jar!! Woohoo!! What a fantastic time saver!
When you look at the ingredients panel, it sings a perfect tune. 100% Date Paste – nothing added. Perfect!
At home, we use the Camel brand, which is the brand we find at Countdown. On the label they suggest other uses for the date paste (below). And it is helpful to know that:
1 cup of whole dates = 1/2 cup of date paste = 165g of date paste
I find that measuring the paste into a cup measure is a messy exercise. I have weighed the amount of date paste that comes in half a cup and it comes to 165g.
I also find that the jar date paste is much darker than when I make my own date paste. I have no idea why this is the case, but the taste is the same. When using the date paste to add a caramel-ness, the darker colour works really well.
You can find this paste used in recipes on the AbundantlyClear.nz website:
I tend to store my open jar of date paste in the fridge, but you don’t have to. It is shelf stable, so you never need to worry about opening a jar and not being able to use it in time.