Basic Unsweetened Date Syrup

As you might have noticed by now I use a lot of dates. In basically every dessert recipe I have written so far I have in some moderation used dates, because it is a great substitute for those who do not eat processed sugars. Sometimes I use it combined with other fruits, but usually it is the sole sweetener. I use it so much that it would only be fitting to write a recipe for a basic date syrup, that also features some tips when it comes to storage and such.

You can use date syrup as a sweetener in almost anything (would not recommend it in tea or coffee), and making it is incredibly simple, once you know how. In baking you can use it 1 : 1 to other sweeteners, but be careful about how much additional liquid you add to the food (syrups are more moist than packaged sugar, and this will affect the end result if you do not alter other liquids). I will go through all of my dessert recipes and add in the option of using date syrup instead, and also show the proper amount you should use, but a general rule is to 1/2 of the amount listed. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup dates you can use 1/2 cup date syrup (remember to gradually add in the other liquids in the recipe, since date syrup has a higher water content than regular dates). In this recipe you should keep the ratio of dates to water 2 : 1 to start with, and if you are using this as a syrup on top of for example pancakes, add in more water so the consistency is to your liking.

You can make this recipe and store it in an airtight container in the fridge, and it will keep nicely for 1-2 weeks. If you wish you can make this in bulk (for example triple the recipe) and freeze it down in individual packets. Simply heat it up and you have syrup available when you want to cook something sweet!

  • 4 cups pitted dates * (see note below)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook this until the dates are properly tender, and your food processor can easily make this into a smooth paste. When the dates are cooked allow it to cool completely before transfering this into a food processor. Process until you have a smooth syrup-like mixture. Pour this into an airtight container and store in the fridge.

  • If you can get your hands on it I would suggest you use Rotab dates (soft dates), and if so you can make this raw. However if you use dried dates you will have to boil them as written above. This will make the syrup as smooth as possible, which is our goal.

PS: I have written a separate post the health benefits of eating dates, my favorite kind of dates, as well as how to substitute one for the other, and it can be found here!

Hope this helped clarify this question a bit and if there ever is anything you are wondering about, send me an email through my Contact page!

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