As discussed in a previous post, date syrup makes for a great alternative to other sweeteners (such as maple syrup) because of the nutritional punch it packs. In this post we’ll be expanding on that a bit and sharing 10 different uses for date syrup so that you can get the most from this lesser-known sweetener.
Although it only recently burst onto the health and wellness scene, date syrup is one of the oldest sweeteners in the world. It goes as far back as Ancient Mesopotamia, where manuscripts mention the common use of this sweetener. Some even think that the Bible mentions “date honey” — which is more than possible when you consider the abundance of date palms in the Holy Land.
Today, date syrup is renowned for being an all-natural sweetener with a low glycemic index, variety of health benefits, and deliciously complex flavor. It’s quickly becoming a popular alternative to conventional sweeteners, which are associated with many harmful effects to our general health.
Uses For Date Syrup
If you’re interested in switching out your old sweetener for date syrup, then check out this all-you-need-to-know guide from Plant-Based FAQs. In it, we’ll go over all ten unique uses for date syrup to get you started.
1. Use It For Baking
Anything sugar can do, date syrup can do better.
This is perhaps most true when it comes to baking. If you’re a fan of home-baked goods, such as cakes, pies, cookies — you name it — then date syrup can make for a healthy substitution for sugar.
However, keep in mind that date syrup is a bit more concentrated than granulated sugar. As such, a little goes a long way.
A good ratio to go by is ⅔ cup of date syrup per 1 cup of granulated sugar. However, if you’re a big fan of the rich taste of date syrup, then using a little more of it for baking certainly won’t hurt anyone!
As a bonus, date syrup has a complex taste with hints of caramel and vanilla. This will add that je ne sais quoi factor to your baked treats that really makes them stand out from the crowd.
2. Use It In Your Morning Coffee
If you’re used to putting white sugar in your morning coffee, then date syrup might be what you need to spruce up your coffee’s health factor.
Thanks to its high fiber content, date syrup won’t spike your blood sugar levels and send you crashing before noon. Thanks to its caramel and vanilla flavor undertones, it will compliment the rich flavor of your coffee perfectly.
3. Improve Digestive Health
We all know the importance of fiber for increasing regularity and decreasing constipation.
However, there is another reason it’s so important: It acts as “food” for your gut bacteria.
In recent years, researchers have discovered how important gut bacteria is for our general health. However, to keep them healthy, we must provide them with the proper fuel.
Increasing your fiber intake is one way to feed your gut bacteria, which can support your digestive health.
You might be wondering why date syrup — unlike, for instance, maple syrup — has such a high fiber content. Well, date syrup is made by mixing dates (which are high in fiber) with hot water. After the hot water has extracted the naturally-occurring sugar from the dates, the mixture can be strained.
While most of the pulp is removed, a substantial portion of fiber remains in the mixture. This gives date syrup its high fiber content, which makes it great for your digestive system.
4. Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
We’re all familiar with fiber’s benefits for your digestion. However, it has another important benefit: fiber can also slow down how quickly your blood sugar goes up after eating.
Even if you don’t have a chronic condition such as diabetes, regulating your blood sugar is incredibly important. For instance, researchers found that elevated blood sugar levels can lead to systemic inflammation in the body, which increases the risk of developing a lifestyle-based disease.
By switching out your regular sweetener for date syrup, you’ll be amp-ing up your fiber intake. Making this move can help you support healthy blood sugar levels.
5. Use It Instead of Pancake Syrup
There’s nothing more delicious than a hefty dose of pancake syrup on your favorite breakfast food. However, commercial pancake syrups are essentially made from pure sugar and a host of other artificial ingredients. This is hardly a healthy way to start your day!
Of course, maple syrup provides a much healthier alternative. After all, it is a natural ingredient with vitamins and minerals. However, because of its high sugar and low fiber content, it’s high on the glycemic index (which means it raises your blood sugar quickly). As such, it’s not necessarily the healthiest option.
If you don’t want to give up your favorite breakfast, then date syrup can make for a great alternative to the more traditional syrups. Because it’s low on the glycemic index, it won’t spike your blood sugar first thing in the morning.
As a bonus, it has a complex taste with hints of caramel and vanilla — this will make it an interesting compliment to your pancakes, waffles, or French toast. For the gourmands among us, this can be one of the more interesting uses of date syrup to experiment with.
6. Up Your Vitamin Intake
As we mentioned above, date syrup is made by mixing dates with hot water. After the pulp is strained, the resulting mixture has a nutritional content that’s very similar to dates.
Not surprisingly, date syrup contains many of the vitamins and minerals from the date. For instance, dates have been found to have as many as 14 different types of minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, dates have a high vitamin content, which includes vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
While supplementing with vitamins is important (especially when you consider the high rates of soil depletion), it might be preferable to get your vitamins and minerals from food. In some cases, nutrients from food may be better absorbed by the body.
By using date syrup, you’ll be increasing your intake of essential vitamins and minerals.
7. Use It For Skin Health
Vitamins don’t only belong inside your body. They can be used on top of it, as well.
Vitamin C was found to be especially beneficial for the skin, which date syrup contains in some amounts. While this is definitely not one of the most common uses of date syrup, it can certainly be effective.
Of course, we wouldn’t recommend substituting your regular face cream or facial serum for date syrup. However, it can make for an amazing ingredient in a face mask.
8. Keep Bloat at Bay
Eating too much sodium can increase water retention, which can make you look and feel bloated. One way to counteract this? Upping your intake of potassium, which can act as a natural diuretic.
Although it is not one of the more well-known uses of date syrup, it may have an effect on fluid retention. That’s because date syrup contains a substantial amount of potassium.
Although it certainly can’t compare to high-potassium foods like bananas, it can certainly help you to get closer to meeting your daily potassium requirements.
9. Protect Against Free Radicals
Date syrup contains high levels of antioxidants. These are small molecules that help to neutralize free radicals, which are known for causing cellular damage.
If you’re exposing yourself to an especially high amount of free radicals — such as through UV exposure or cigarette smoke — then antioxidants can neutralize some of their effects.
10. Use It To Stick To Your Diet
If you’re following a special type of diet — such as paleo or Whole30 — then you know that refined sugar is out of the question.
Certain sweeteners can also be off-limits if you follow a plant-based diet. For instance, many vegans choose to avoid honey because its production can potentially harm bees.
Fortunately, date syrup is virtually on everybody’s safe-to-eat list. It contains all-natural ingredients, it has a low glycemic index, and it is not derived from animals.
As such, adding it to your diet can make it easier for you to stick to your lifestyle.
There are various uses of date syrup thanks to its many benefits, such as a high vitamin and mineral content, ample amounts of fiber, and low glycemic index.
You can use date syrup to replace white sugar, eat it to improve your digestive health, or even add it to a face mask.
For more information about dates — and the other forms they come in — Plant-Based FAQs has all you need to stay informed.