RAW DATE SYRUP
A few years ago, I made a decision to stop eating refined sugar, and this coming from a girl who loves her sweets. And with all of the baking that I do, I wasn’t sure how I was going to substitute the sweet component of my recipes, but in fact, there are many delicious and natural ways to go. In the beginning, I opted for maple syrup or agave and sometimes, coconut sugar, but I’ve also been playing around with other recipes like Raw Date Syrup. One of the simplest recipes out there, it’s also extremely tasty and if you’re a date fan, can be eaten by the spoonful!
A bit of background on the drug, also known as refined sugar. In 1957, Dr. William Coda Martin tried to answer the question: When is a food a food and when is it a poison? His working definition of “poison” was: “Medically: Any substance applied to the body, ingested or developed within the body, which causes or may cause disease. Physically: Any substance which inhibits the activity of a catalyst which is a minor substance, chemical or enzyme that activates a reaction.” I first felt sugar was a drug when I stopped eating it. I went to dinner with some friends and because my brother worked there, he offered us a dessert, but I was with three people who weren’t big dessert fans…so I stepped in. A few minutes later, I could literally feel my pulse quickening and my teeth started to ache. All in all, another realization that I had made the best decision by eliminating refined sugar products from my diet.
Raw Date Syrup on the other hand takes one of natures already sweetened plants and turns it into a paste that can be used in various ways. Dates are also easily digested, allowing your body to make full use of their goodness. Phoenix dactylifera or date palm is a flowering plant species in the palm family Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Raw Date Syrup is made using fresh Medjool Dates, lemon and water. Once it’s blended, this homemade sweetener can be used to bake, as a topping on hot grain cereal in the morning, on toast and can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
8-10 fresh medjool dates (the juicier, the better)
1 1/4 cups water, plus more for soaking dates
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with warm water and let sit for 30 minutes. Once the dates have soaked, drain the water then add the dates, filtered water, and lemon juice to a blender and blend for about a minute or until smooth. The date syrup can be put into a recycled jam jar and stored in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.