How to Use Dates as a Sugar Substitute

How to Use Dates as a Sugar Substitute

If you’re trying to cut back on your added sugar consumption, you may be looking for healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Raw dates can be used to sweeten your recipes — and even better, if you’re following Sugar Free 3, they fit the plan. But if dates aren’t usually on your grocery list, you may be wondering how to eat dates as a sugar substitute.

First things first: You want to choose whole, raw dates. Date sugar and date syrup are just sneaky names for sugar — they have zero fiber and can spike your blood sugar just like any other added sugar.

Raw dates, on the other hand, have more health benefits than refined sugars. “Fruit is better than any refined sugar because it’s a whole food that also comes with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” Michele Promaulayko explains in Sugar Free 3.

And dates can easily be swapped into many of your favorite recipes. Here are a few ways to use dates as a sugar substitute.

Reduce cravings and eat healthier by cutting added sugar from your diet with Sugar Free 3. Try it here!

 

1. Add Sweetness to a Smoothie

Want to sweeten a green smoothie without adding honey or maple syrup? Dates are a great addition to smoothies since they also lend some creaminess. For the smoothest consistency, blend the dates with your liquids first. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend again.

Try these for breakfast or a snack:

 

2. Balance Out Salad Dressing

3 salad dressings | how to eat dates

Salad dressings can be acidic, so you’ll typically want to balance it out with a bit of sweetness. When adding raw dates to salad dressing, it’s ideal to use a high-speed blender or food processor to combine chopped dates with all of your other ingredients except the oil. Then, with the machine still running, slowly add in the oil if the recipe calls for it.

These recipes are delicious over any salad:

 

3. Make No-Bake Treats

Sticky dates can help bind together ingredients for cookies and bars, which is perfect for no-bake treats. Process the dates into fine pieces, then add nuts, grains, spices, and other goodies.

When you want a sweet but don’t want to turn on the oven, consider these:

 

4. Whip Up Energy Balls

peppermint protein balls | how to eat dates

You can DIY any energy balls or bites by combining your favorite nuts with dates and any seasonings (or chocolate chips!). Then add protein powder for a great post-workout snack.

For inspiration, check out the following recipes:

 

5. Substitute Dates for Sugar in Baked Goods

Wondering how to eat dates for dessert? Date paste — made by blending raw dates with just enough water to form a pate consistency — can replace granulated sugar in all kinds in baked goods. (Just be aware it may affect the taste and texture.)

If you’re combining the dates with dry ingredients, process the dates alone first. If you’re combining them with wet ingredients, you can process everything together.

Try one of these baked goods:

brittany risher

About

Brittany Risher is an accomplished content strategist, editor, and writer specializing in health, mental health, and mindfulness content. After earning her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, she worked at Men's Health, Prevention, Women's Health, Shape, and Greatist before going freelance three years ago. Today she works with brands and publications, helping them create content that engages their audience and builds brand loyalty. Considered a "Swiss Army knife for content," Brittany helps with all things content, from editorial strategy and project management to editing and writing. Her clients include Sonima, Men's Health, Women's Health, SELF, Elemental, ZocDoc, Yoga Journal, Everyday Health, My Fitness Pal, and Centennial Media. Follow her on Twitter.