After I used date paste in my Most Decadent Paleo Chocolate Cake Ever, I came to realize that this little marvel of a sweetener was causing a lot of confusion, so I decided to make a new batch for you and document it in pictures.
You know what they say, right? A picture is worth a thousand words… And since I’ll be using a lot of pictures today, I think I’ll go easy on the words, if you don’t mind.
Besides, this recipe is so easy, it really doesn’t require a lot of explaining!
First off, you don’t need to take out your fancy and slightly more expensive Medjool dates for this. Your standard, widely available and much more affordable standard pitted dates will be the perfect candidate for this task.
Pack your pitted dates real tight in a Mason type glass jar. You should be able to cram about 450g in a half liter jar.
Then, pour water over the dates until the jar is really full. You should need about ¾ of a cup.
Make sure you fill it right to the top then cover and let your dates soak overnight or at least 12 hours.
OR, if you are in a pinch and want to make your date paste RIGHT AWAY, you can cover your jar loosely with a non reactive lid and throw it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. You don’t want to cook the dates or even heat them up. You only want to get them nice and soft.
After the dates have soaked or have been softened in the microwave, transfer the entire content of the jar, including the water, to the bowl of your food processor.
You should be staring at a content that looks something like this.
If you wanted to, you could also add a splash of pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt at this point. In fact, I strongly recommend that you do this.
Trust. It really makes a big difference in the taste of the final product!
Now simply process your dates on high speed for about 5-8 minutes, or until smooth and creamy in consistency. The longer you process, the smoother and creamier your paste will be.
After 3 to 4 minutes, you will have obtained a paste alright, but it will still be somewhat grainy and not so smooth. Resist the urge to stop now. Let that motor run for a bit longer. Trust me, it’ll be worth it!
Ah, now that’s more like it! See how beautiful and smooth that looks after a few [thousand] more spins?
After the desired consistency has been obtained, transfer your date paste back to your Mason jar
Make it all nice and pretty…
…and place it in the fridge where it will keep for up to 3 months. (That’s if you can make it last that long… you will want to use that wonderful sweetener everywhere, and will probably end up eating it by the spoonful too!)
See how much darker it gets, too, after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days?
And there you have it. Beautiful, creamy, deliciously sweet and entirely natural home made date paste.
I’m telling you, once you’ve made a batch of this, you’ll never be able to be without it ever again.
I personally ALWAYS have a batch in the fridge. As soon as I run out, I make a new one.
Oh, and feel free to experiment, too! You could also, if you wanted to, mix in any other dried fruit, such as apricots, figs, cranberries or raisins. This will slightly change the taste, texture and sweetness level of your paste. Just use whatever ratio you want.
So long as it fits in the jar, you’ll be alright!