Date Syrup

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I’ve been enjoying Medjool dates for years; plain, stuffed with peanut butter, cooked into oatmeal, baked into granola bars, stirred into yogurt… you name it. One application I just discovered is pureeing them with water into a syrup as a healthier alternative to liquid sweeteners.

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Dates boast a whole slew of vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. They are also very sweet, rendering them perfect for naturally sweetening baked goods and other desserts.

When pureed with water, they form a thick syrup that can be substituted 1:1 for maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, and other liquid sweeteners.

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If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, date syrup will keep for a few weeks. Use it to naturally sweeten plain yogurt, oatmeal, cookies, and most other sweets. This version is uncooked, so it can also be used in raw desserts.

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I have already used some of this date syrup in the topping for a strawberry crumble – the recipe for which I will share soon – and the results were even better than I expected!

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Have you used date syrup before? If so, how did you use it?

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Date Syrup

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (1 jar)

  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups hot (not boiling) water

Instructions

Combine pitted dates and water in a food processor. I used the container that came with my immersion blender. Blend until very smooth.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing date syrup in for maple syrup, honey, and other liquid sweeteners.

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Frozen Cocoa PB Banana Bites

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I’ve been on a no-sugar-added kick for the past couple of months, (other than an occasional treat), and am down 5 lbs to show for it. As you know, I always steer clear of the refined stuff, but I’ve been staying away from my favorite unrefined sweeteners as well. Maple syrup, honey, evaporated cane juice, etc. have been kicked to the curb and replaced with naturally sweet fruit.

I will most likely reintroduce those unrefined sweeteners (in moderation) when the baking bug bites me this fall, but in the meantime I’m sticking with ripe fruit and Medjool dates for my sweets fix.

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These frozen little bites are sweetened only with ripe banana, but I’m willing to bet you’d think they had some kind of sugar in them if you tried them.

Rich, chocolaty, fudgy, and topped with a peanut butter “shell”, these frozen treats are the perfect way to end a hot summer day… or ┬áto start one, for that matter, as they are every bit as healthy as they are delicious.

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I should have made a double batch, and so should you!

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Frozen Cocoa PB Banana Bites

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Keywords: dessert snack vegan sugar-free banana peanut butter

Ingredients (12 bites)

  • 3 medium-sized overripe bananas, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp coconut butter, slightly softened
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp smooth salted unsweetened peanut butter, preferably organic, divided use
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

Combine bananas, coconut butter, cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup peanut butter in a food processor or a blender. Process/blend until smooth. Evenly divide mixture between 12 mini muffin cups; smooth the tops to create an even surface.

Place in freezer for at least 2 hours.

Combine remaining 2 Tbsp peanut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly. Drizzle over frozen bites. The peanut butter drizzle will harden upon contact.

Serve bites directly from freezer.

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