(image: Getty images)
Grown on date palm trees and originating in the Middle East, this fruit has become the go-to natural sugar substitute, even though (according to Winsight Grocery Business) it’s believed the fruit has been used since ancient times dating back to 3000 B.C.
There are many date varieties, but Medjool dates are the most sought after, as they’re larger in size and maintain a softer texture for longer but do dry out as they naturally age, however you can soak dates in warm water to rehydrate them. This amazing fruit is great in desserts too… think creamy date caramel bars, fudge and even protein balls.
How can you incorporate dates into your desserts?
1. Use date caramel as a dipping sauce for fruit or as a topping for yoghurt or ice cream.
2. Dates are a natural binding agent which when paired with crushed nuts can serve as a base for tarts or dessert bars.
3. Dates can be used as a sugar substitute.
4. You can make truffles out of dates especially if you’re using pure dark chocolate, this will add some sweetness to the chocolate.
5. This fibrous fruit is a great addition to your morning smoothie, adding fibre and sweetness or it can be enjoyed on its own or stuffed with almonds or pistachios – a healthier afternoon treat compared to chocolates and processed goods we tend to reach for.
Next time you’re planning on baking your next dessert or fridge set tart, opt for dates instead of sugar, we have 7 recipes that won’t disappoint or make you look for sugar.