Date Paste – The Ultimate All Natural Sweetener
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!
Date Paste - The Ultimate All Natural Sweetener
- 1 lb pitted dates
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- Pack your pitted dates real tight in a Mason type glass jar.
- Pour the water right over, cover and let soak overnight.
- Alternatively, you could cover loosely with a non-reactive lid and pop 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.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and process for 5 - 8 minutes or until really smooth and creamy.
- Transfer back to the glass jar and place in the fridge where it will keep for about 3 months.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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203 Comments on “Date Paste – The Ultimate All Natural Sweetener”
What do you do with the paste when it’s done? what do you add it to?
The date paste can be used to many desserts and concoctions that call for a little bit of sweetness. I used it in this chocolate cake here, as well as in this pineapple upside down cake. I use it a lot in baked (and raw) desserts, so I get the feeling that it will be used as a base ingredient in a lot of my future creations.
I also sometimes use it in smoothies, to add a little bit of sweetness to them…
Of course, there’s always the good ole “just eat it by the spoonful” for a quick sugar fix… 😉
I mix date paste with coconut milk and use it in my coffee. It is so good! I also use it in smoothies. I have not baked with it yet. I used it in my homemade ketchup and A-1 type sauce too. I love it.
Funny, someone was asking me recently about using date paste in coffee… I wasn’t sure it would work all that great, but now you’ve just confirmed that it does. Thanks for that! 🙂
Hey, one more question: while I am soaking the dates, do they need to be refrigerated or can they sit out on the counter?
They can sit on the counter just fine, Becky.
I will try it with sweet and sour pork
When I made this, I didn’t refrigerate it after. So a few days later when I wanted to use it, i opened the jar which apparently was under great pressure, and it exploded out. I am thinking leaving out at room temperature cause it to ferment? Did you ever have something like that happen to you?
Yikes! That doesn’t sound like fun. I always keep mine in the refrigerator, so thankfully no, I’ve never had that happen to me. I’m curious, though. Why did you decide not to refrigerate your date paste?
I recently made date paste and when I opened the jar to use it the exact same thing has happened to me! I have been searching the web to see if this is normal. I guess as i also kept mine at room temperature was what caused this 🙂
live and you learn!
Leaving the finished product at room temperature would certainly cause the dates to ferment, which would then lead to the formation of CO2. This CO2 build-up will no doubt cause a great amount of pressure inside the container. If you let it go for too long, the container may indeed explode. That’s why you need to keep date paste in the refrigerator, where it will safely keep for a very long time!
Do you think as it has already fermented, the date paste would be dangerous to eat even if I keep it in the fridge from now on? Do you think this is an irreversible reaction and I should just make a new batch keeping this in mind
Thanks for the reply!
If it still tastes good and has no signs of mould on it, then I wouldn’t see why you couldn’t eat it… fermentation is actually a good thing and a natural process. It will not unferment if you put it in the fridge though, so if the taste is unpleasant, you should definitely discard and start over.
Fermented foods are very healthy. Just make sure there isn’t any mold on the date paste. Mold is a result of oxygen getting in. You don’t want that to happen, but you also want to allow the carbon to escape so that the jar won’t break. You can buy special fermentation jars that allow carbon to escape without letting oxygen in. BTW, chutneys are often fermented.
I was thinking this would be an excellent “binder” additive to my protein bars. Used like that, would all my protein bars need to be refrigerated then?? I’d rather they weren’t….
Thank you, and great work on your personal transformation!
Not sure, Pamela… I guess it greatly depends on the other ingredients that will go in the making of said protein bars, and how long you are planning on keeping them for. But personally, I would probably want to play it safe and keep them in the fridge.
This worked great for me! I had to do the quick fix microwave trick. I used it in place of blackstrap molasses in a homemade Paleo BBQ sauce and it was fantastic. I am also envisioning its use as a sweetener in protein power balls – a little would go a long way. Thanks!
Just made your date paste. Never used it before. Can’t believe how well it works in coffee as an alternative to sugar! Milder, nicer taste than sugar, dissolves beautifully and it’s healthy! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thanks!
A lot of people use it in coffee! I’ve never tried it myself, as I drink my coffee black, but I bet it’s really good! Thanks for the kind words!
Over here in England I found date paste in a squeezy bottle in my local Sainsbury’s supermarket. I use it in my tea and coffee and it is an energy booster without the sugar headache later.
As I am cooking oatmeal, I add a healthy tablespoon of paste. After oatmeal is done, I add cinnamon, flax seed, and maple syrup to taste along with a good pour of half-and-half. I look forward to my breakfast!
Hi, can also tell how to use date paste.
Hey Samia! See answer to Jade’s comment. I’ve given her a few options, but I know for a fact that there will be many, many creations coming on this site that will call for this sweetener. So stay tuned for more! 😉
What is the equivalent to sugar. Ie. 1:1 ? If you are subbing for sugar in recipe?
Bombay & tonic with lime? My favorite too! Sadly, it’s been years…I need more friends like yours!
LOL! I remember having gin & tonic when I was younger and not liking it at all, so I thought I was safe for sure… NOT! Wow is that stuff good. Well, it tastes good anyway. 😉 Must be the lime that did it. Oh, and the pouring technique. Apparently, you have to pour the tonic water from a decent height so it fizzes. It just changes everything! Now, I wish I hadn’t tried that again… like I needed a new poison, you know! 😉
Love using dates in dessert! It is such a great, healthy sweetener!
The best, Alex. Bet you will become an addict, just like me! 😀
Love this idea. I will definitely be wanting to try this!
that looks so tasty and thanks so much for doing this picture-tutorial. it is very helpful 🙂
Pleasure is all mine, Zosia. Had such a blast working on that project, too! 🙂 Glad you like!
I have a real amateur question but if I don’t have a food processor can a blender be used instead and if so, what speed setting should I use?
I absolutely LOVE dates and this sounds like the best treat ever!
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Yikes, not sure! The thing is a blender is designed to treat mainly liquids and wouldn’t be able to handle such a thick paste (cuz trust me, this is THICK!). I guess you could probably make a much thinner version, but then you’d have to adjust your liquids accordingly if using in recipes.
If you do try it, you’ll definitely need to add water to the mix and use the highest possible setting.
I think you’d be better off investing in a food processor, though! 😉 I know… much easier said than done, sometimes, but I know I couldn’t be without mine!
Hi. I’m in the same boat as Laura (mainly because I just don’t have the space), but would you use a thinner (or regular) version in place of sugar in baking? I always try to “healthify” my bakes a bit, and this sounds like such a great sub for sugar. Thank you!
As usual, your pictures astound me and if only I could “embrace” the true essence of your healthy approach to food.
At this time, I have not made any of your recipes because I don’t have the ingredients but I’m looking forward to soon giving this a try. Can you recommend something healthy and easy to prepare for a healthy noob like myself?
You’re the best! 😉
Aww, thank you so much Mike, as always, you never fail to flatter me with your super kind comments! YOU are the best, seriously!
It’s a shame, really, that you haven’t tried any of my recipes yet… I sure would love to get your impressions on the actual food! (hoping that you’ll like the food as much as you like my “pictural rendition” of it!)
Here are a couple of suggestions for quick and easy to prepare salads that I think you would like:
Green Pea and Cucumber Salad
Fennel, Pear and Cranberry Salad
Simply The Best Carrot Salad Ever (Something tells me that you would really, really like that one!)
Refreshing Cucumber, Tomato and Shrimp Salad
And hey, if you do end up trying any of them, make sure you let me know how you liked it! 🙂
Sounds like you have a great time with your friend! I am glad you had some time to let loose – everyone needs a little bit of that now and then! 🙂
That bread with the cheese + fruit looks HEAVENLY! AND so does that carrot cake! OOOOOh and that date paste! Tartlettes, I can’t wait for that one! EEEEEE it all looks and sounds amazing! XO
NORA!!!! Thank you so much my friend! Glad you like my creations! I get the feeling that the tartelettes will be right up your alley, much like your recent Bite Size Peanut Butter Cups were right up mine! I’m still drooling from having looked at them this morning! The recipe for the tartelettes should be up this week-end. 🙂
Hope things are going well with you and the Frozen Yogurt business! 😀
Aw, I’m glad you had such a fantastic time. And I have to say, I love your healthy approach to food. The food you make for the blog is so healthy, but there is always time to relax a little and enjoy treats too 🙂 Love the date paste! I have some in my fridge right now and I can’t wait to try some more recipes with it!
I tried this in a baby food jar with dried peaches… very tart, but sweet! I used it to sweeten a chocolate chickpea cake. Everyone I shared with loved it (:
After making the chocolate cake, Imtoo am a date paste convert, IPve made another batch, and I’m mainly using it swirled through my porridge in the morning, and as you say, on a spoon…..because I can….I’m also planning to use it as a spread on toast of pancakes or anything else like that, plus I’m keen to try a chocolate mousse made with dates, avocados and cocoa powder… I love my date paste
Thanks for that, Mary! Glad to see I’m not the only date paste addict! Love the idea of swirling it into warm cereal. Yum! I wish I was having some of that right now (especially since I’m currently starving!) It definitely is my new go-to sweetener. It’s just the best for smoothies, too!
I think maybe I packed too many dates into the jar…I didn’t have this problem last time but I can’t get this to process in either one of my food processors. Maybe I used my Ninja last time but that’s in the dishwasher right now. Maybe I let them soak too long because it has been almost a full day? Thoughts??? I’ll try again with my Ninja in a little while but I may just have to use this batch for smoothies since I might not be able to get it the right consistency for baking. It could just be a continuation of the run of bad luck I’ve been having!
Eeeee, strange. Do you have a photo by any chance? Maybe your food processor isn’t powerful enough? Soaking too long is not the culprit, sometimes I let mine soak for an entire week… maybe try and microwave your paste for a minute or two? Just a thought… that’s what I would try. I’m really thinking processor too weak.
Keep me posted!
So after you soak the dates, are you supposed to leave the water in while you food process them or drain the water off?
You leave the water in, Amy. 🙂
I made this date paste today I soaked the dates overnight and put them in the food processor this morning. After it went through the food processor it did not look like yours in the picture? It’s so much darker, like it just remained the same colour of the dates (before being processed). How did your dates become lighter after being processed? Do you think I should process the mixture again..?
How long did you leave them in the food processor for? My guess is you didn’t leave it long enough. It takes a while for the dates to become all nice and smooth and creamy. I say just put them back and spin them some more! 🙂
Hi there! I processed them for about 10 mins and they remained the same color. The consistency is creamy and smooth though. I will try to process them again for a longer time and let you know how it goes. Thanks for your help 🙂
Tina, if it’s only the color you are concerned with, I wouldn’t worry about it. We probably used different varieties of dates, that’s all. Besides, it always gets darker after it sits in the fridge for a little while. So long as it’s creamy and lump free, you’re good to go! 🙂
Do you blend the water the dates has soaked in with the dates or without? 🙂
You just throw everything in there, water and all! Plus, after the dates have soaked in it, this water will have turned into a delicious syrupy and sweet liquid. You will not want to chuck it, trust me! 😉
How long will this last in the fridge?
Months! If you can keep it that long, that is. I bet you’ll find tons of ways you can use it and will end up making a new batch on a regular basis! 🙂
Thanks! How can I use this in recipes? What can it be a substitution for?
I use it to replace sugar in pretty much all of my recipes now… Take a look at some of my dessert recipes, especially the more recent ones, for some inspiration. But really, I find it adds a lot of moisture as well as sweetness to cakes and other baked goods, and it’s really potent too, so a little goes a long way! 🙂
Hi! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I came across it on Pinterest, and I immediately went out and bought some dates (already had raisins at home). I couldn’t find pitted, but they’re super easy to remove the pits from, so it was no biggie! I can see myself using this paste in so many different recipes. I have been looking for an easy date paste recipe, and I liked yours best! I also made a nifty label for the jar… I was excited to share the recipe with my friends – and linked them all back to your site!
I am new here, but there are tons of recipes that I am looking forward to try out! Thanks again, -Kristen in Germany!
LOOOOVE your label for the jar, Kristen. Thank you so much for sending that to me and for taking the time to write such great feedback on the recipe. I’m really glad that you like it, and by all means, don’t be afraid to play with it. I regularly do dates only, or dates and raisins, but have also added plums, figs and apricots. I think this is the best sweetener EVER! Thanks a bunch for sharing with your friends too, and I really look forward to you trying more of my recipes, because I want to hear all about it! 🙂
thanks for your comment. <3 I just sent you the label, as an attachment, in case you would like to use it for gifting, or storing at home. I think it adds a little aesthetic value to the paste. 😉 Anyhow… I look forward to trying so many of your recipes. I can't wait to try this sweet potato brownie recipe (also how I originally found the date paste recipe). I am thinking about hosting a little get-together here, for Thanksgiving (even though it's an American holiday)… I think my in-laws will play along. (Who can pass up the yummy Thanksgiving dinner?!) I'm considering making the sweet potato brownies for dessert!!!! I bet they won't even notice how healthy they are! 😉
Thanks for sending the label, Kristen. I truly appreciate that! It really is nice. Have you seen my Spicy Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake? I think that one would look glorious on a Thanksgiving table. If I celebrated Thanksgiving, I would definitely go for that! But the brownies are a definite crowd pleaser! Hope you like ’em. Can’t wait for your feedback!!! 🙂
Kristin could you send me your label. Thanks much. I would like to do gifts. Joana
Can date paste be canned? If so, this would make a wonderful Christmas gift.
I suppose it probably could, although it is my understanding that in order to can stuff, you need to heat it up first and I cooking the dates is something I would rather avoid doing. It does keep in the fridge for months, so it could still very well be made into a nice Christmas present, for I suppose leaving it out of the fridge for a couple hours wouldn’t do considerable damage… Neat idea, too!
A note, on my second batch of date paste…
I noticed, in preparing my second batch of date paste, that the quality of the product plays a huge role, in the taste, and aesthetic of the date paste! The first time I purchased dates, (in my life) for the first batch, I specifically went to the store with the goal of purchasing the dates, and a few other baking items. I paid close attention to the ones that I purchased, and got the ones that looked the best. The other day, I was at the grocery store, and realized that I needed more, because my jar was empty. I quickly grabbed 2 packages, and proceeded to the checkout. I used a few of these new dates in another recipe, and it made no difference, because they were more still raw, un-soaked, and pretty much in natural form. (except for the fact that they were chopped) Well, to wrap-it-up, I noticed that the darker the dates, and more plump they are, the better quality/tasting date paste they make! Looking at the second (un-opened) package – the dates a bit paler than the last, and a bit more shriveled, I have decided to pay way more attention during my next purchase, and use these for something other than date paste! (I’m not about to waste them ;-)) I thought this may perhaps help someone else avoid this situation. 🙂
**note** a higher price, doesn’t always mean higher quality! The packages were both the same size,(200g)but the better quality ones even cost 20 cents less, per package.
Very interesting… Thanks for that, Kristen!
I copied this recipe but made mine with dates, some dried apricots, and tangerine zest. Also made it a bit looser, with more soak liquid whipped in there. My blender could not handle it at the thickness yours can.
It is sweet, subtly floral (from the tangerine zest) and wonderful. I love it on my yogurt in the morning with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
I made some dark chocolate cherry cordial candies with this fig-tangerine paste as the liquid center, along with a whole dried tart cherry.
Thank you so much.
Thank YOU Jen for taking the time to leave such great feedback! I truly appreciate that.
Glad you like the paste (and btw, I LOVE the addition of tangerine zest!) 🙂
i made this paste by soaking in strong black coffee, then processed with pre-soaked hazlenuts (filberts), a little vanilla. yummy. great with fresh fruit. try it once, dare you, you won’t stop. this is my creation, but is free to share
Hi! I was wondering if you have to use a mason jar or if I could use a Tupperware. I only have a large mason jar and I wanted to start the paste today to make the sweet potatoe brownies tomorrow!
Tupperware is fine, Katie. So long as it’s airtight, you’ll be alright. 🙂
Hope you like the brownies! 🙂
Why airtight? My kid popped off and they were a little sour, think they fermented!
Really? After how long? Had it been kept in the fridge the whole time? I’ve been making date paste for like forever now and always have a batch in the fridge and never had that happen to me…
Does it work (in a pinch) if you skip or shorten the soaking process? I want to make the healthy flour less chocolate cake right. now!
I’d say use boiling water, or maybe stick the dates and water in the microwave for a minute or two, just to soften them up… It should do the trick! 🙂
Awesome! This is a trial run for my son’s first birthday cake. I am so excited to find a grain-free, no sugar added cake! Thanks for posting this and for your fast response!
Sorry if this is a silly question. Could I make it with dried packaged dates?
Not a silly question at all, Lindsay. Of course you can. Just make sure they are pitted! Else, you’ll put some serious hurt on your food processor! 😉
Hi Sonia, I just wanted to ask what food processor / blender do you usually use for making this date paste? My food processor broke, and my Magic bullet cannot really cope with it. So I am looking for a new one, that would be strong enough to make date paste, nut butters, etc. Any recommendations? Thanks and have and I hope you are having a great weekend 🙂
I’m a big fan of KitchenAid. I’ve had their stand mixer, blender and food processor for over 10 years now and am still just as satisfied with them today as I was on day one. They are very sturdy little machines and sure can handle the load! For the little jobs, I just recently discovered the awesomeness of the Ninja Master Prep. Costs close to nothing and really can get the job done. I’ve even made a small batch of raw cashew butter in it and it didn’t die on me. No doubt it would handle the date paste, too! So I definitely recommend that one, also.
Hope this helps, and you have a great week-end too! 🙂
Thank you, Sonia. I love my Kitchen Aid mixer. And I think I will follow your advice and buy the Kitchen Aid food processor too. I already bought a meat grinder attachment for the mixer to make pastes, but have not tried it yet. But even if it works for a date paste, I don’t think it will grind nuts into butter ;-). Thanks again!
Hi! Someone already asked a similar kind of a question, but just to make sure, I’ll ask again.. So, did you use dried or fresh dates here? If using fresh ones, would you still recommend soaking them? I was planning to make this tonight but forgot about the soaking time.. 🙂
I’ve never tried a fresh date, Anna, so I wouldn’t know, sorry… Plus, I’m not sure that you would be getting the same result if using fresh dates. I think I would stick to dry!
If you are in a pinch, you can simply microwave the dates and water for a minute or two, this will help soften the dried fruits.
Hope this helps! 🙂
Okay! 🙂 I only had the fresh ones at hand and no time to get anything else, so I just decided to give them a try. I skipped the soaking, but added some water while processing the paste, and I think it came out just fine! Only, I wasn’t able to get as smooth a paste as yours, but I think that was only due to my processor not powerful enough to completely break down all the pieces of peel. Taste however is excellent 🙂 Thank you!
Good to know, Anna! Thanks for the info. Just to be clear though, is this what you mean by fresh dates?
Umm no, I never saw that kind of dates here.. The ones I use look like this:
I think they’re called the soft (fresh) dates. Easily pitted by hand, with a thin, slightly crispy skin and soft, moist, tasty flesh.
Oh my! They look yum! I really don’t think you need to soak these, they look like they’re very soft and sweet. Your paste must be absolutely delicious! 🙂
Oh yes! I have it with my homemade coconut milk yogurt and spread it on my almond bread together with some leftover chocolate ganache and crispy lettuce, and can’t help eating it by the spoonful too… 😀 yum!
What an interesting combination! Chocolate ganache and crispy lettuce… I like it! I so have to try making my own coconut yogurt at home, too! Sounds so yummy! 🙂
Are you suppose to drain the soaked dates before processing them?
Nope! You just dump the whole thing into the food processor and let her rip! 🙂
Made this yesterday and can’t believe how much I love it! Could definitely just eat this with a spoon. Only thing I’d change next time is making more! I used 450g dates and only got about 2 cups of date paste. I read through your tips in the comments and only soaked it for 6-7 hours but then heated it up before processing, and it came out beautifully!
Heating it up sure will speed up the process, but I generally prefer not to, as I find it tends to make for a “softer” paste. I will, however, revert to that technique if in a pinch! Glad you liked the stuff, I couldn’t be without a batch sitting in the fridge anymore. I use that *!&% in everything! (works wonders to give salad dressings a little hint of sweetness. Try it, you’ll see!)
Oh wow, you are so right! I made a dressing with date paste, tahini, and fig balsamic,thinned with a bit of water and it was out of this world! Thank you for introducing me to something wonderful!
Pleasure is all mine, Johanna! Glad to have gotten you addicted! 😀
What dates do you use? Have you heard of medjool dates? From what Ive heard theyre the best of the lot!
Would you agree Sonia?
Whats the difference?
Can you buy any kind of dry dates?
Thank you so much, I love your website! The recipes are so good & good for you!!
I have heard of, and eaten many times too, Medjool dates. However, they are way too good and expensive for this kind of project, if you ask me. I use regular dried, pitted dates for this. Just make sure that the ingredients on the bag lists nothing but dates!
And thank you so much for your kind words, I truly appreciate them!
could you replace that with jelly, with peanut butter and date paste
am curious about the peanut butter and date paste
Date paste and nut butter is definitely a magical combination, sherri!
or maybe the date paste and some kind of perserves
I made this on Saturday and I was immediately in love! I used it in 2 of my recipes for my blog. When I post my recipes this week, using the date paste in them, I will link people back to your page for the recipe! 🙂
Thanks for the recipe I found it on Pinterest. I was wondering if I wanted to put this in my own recipes what the conversion from sugar to date paste might be.
I wish I could give you a precise answer, Maria, but unfortunately, I don’t think there really is a one size fits all answer to this question, especially if/when dealing with baking. I think this is something that needs to be experimented with…
I don’t think I saw anywhere if the date paste can be frozen? We live a couple of hours from a date farm and I bought 9 lbs of baking dates and I think they are going to make a LOT of paste. If not, I guess I will be making lots of Healthy desserts to share at work : )
To be honest, Vicky, I have no idea! I know it will keep for months in the refrigerator, and dates alone will keep for a very long time, too, so I never really felt a need for freezing. But 9lbs IS a lot, I agree! Might be worth giving it a try!
Currently making your sweet potato brownies, and just finished the date paste….WOW! So thick, sweet, and yummy! Best of all, it is super easy! I just boiled some water, filled up the mason jar and let it sit for a few minutes, dumped into the food processor, added the salt and vanilla and voila! Delicious! Can’t wait to present my wife with a fabulous paleo treat tomorrow!
What a lucky girl! 🙂 Hope she likes her present!
I’m seventeen years old and due to allergies, I’m essentially an accidental vegan. I just made this and it is SO good! Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂 I will definitely be using it every day.
Oh! I also have a question. If I were to bake with this, how would I use it as a substitute for sugar?
I wish I had an exact measurement that I could give you, Sienna, but unfortunately, I don’t think there really is a one size fits all answer to this question… especially since it would not be a suitable replacement in all cases where sugar is called for. For instance, this would really not work in a meringue or whipped cream recipe. So it really is something that must be dealt with on a per case basis. Sorry that I can’t be of more help.
What is the “whole date-to-paste” ratio? For example, if a recipe calls for 6 mashed dates to sweeten it, how much paste would I use?
You can very well play with that a little bit, depending on how much sweetness you wanted, but I would guesstimate that you get somewhere around 1 tablespoon of date paste per 2 “standard” dates or 1 tablespoon per Medjool date. Hope this helps!
Mine turned out really light brown in color and almost a whipped cream texture?
It should take a darker color and get a denser texture within a couple of days…
I’m guessing this has a lot of carbs, correct?
Carbs, perhaps… but lots of other good stuff, too!
Yum! Thank you for this recipe! I love it. The dates are so sweet just by themselves. I use this with almond butter on paleo bread and it really hits the spot.
This is a great idea – thanks for sharing it!
My question is: What is the purpose of adding salt? Can it be omitted?
The salt in this recipe acts solely as a flavor enhancer and can definitely be omitted.
Hi! What a great recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been looking on google for hours and can’t find how a conversion chart for date past vs honey. Can you help? I don’t want to use honey.
Honey and date paste are very different in flavor, structure and composition, Michelle. I don’t think that you could so easily and generally sub one for the other. That’s probably why you can’t find a conversion chart anywhere…
Thanks for posting! I just want to mention that microwaves are not health related in any way. Please do not put your nutritious dated in the micro youre killing everything beneficial about them.
I’m excited to a few of your recipes. I notice that the salt you recommend is Himalayan. I use Celtic Sea Salt. Could I use my salt? Or should I use HS?
My salt of choice is definitely Himalayan, but Celtic Sea is a very good choice too, Helen. Feel free to use any salt you like!
Wow, this is SO GOOD. I’ve made date paste before but the addition of the vanilla and salt make this amazing. I want to eat it straight out of the jar! I think I’ll try adding it to smoothies and yogurt.
It is amazing isn’t it? By far my favorite sweetener! Glad you’re liking it, too! 😀
Where can I buy dates?
Hi, I made this last Sunday and I’ve used it in oatmeal, smoothies, and mixed into plain yogurt:) it is so incredibly delicious and easy to make. Thank you for sharing this recipe:)
Should the dates absorb all the water or will there be some left? I made this earlier and it’s more like a date “whip”? Will it get thicker as it sits? Still tastes great!
Not sure what you mean by whip, Tamara… once the paste is finished, there should be no water left, it should look like it does in the pictures.
Forgive me for commenting, but mine came out the same, I think. It looks more like a date butter than a date paste, very light and creamy, and quite soft rather than sticky like the pictures. I’m hoping to make the paleo brownies for my friend, would the texture of the date paste affect the final product?
It is rather light and fluffy right after it comes out of the food processor, but gets darker and denser after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days.
Ok…here’s one for you that I haven’t seen here. I had started making date paste about a month ago prior to finding your delightful website…I wanted to sweeten a batch of Chipotle-honey sauce I was making. Adding date paste to the honey made for a wonderful taste. But, what I really wanted to share was the ice cream I made this evening (ok, “frozen desert”). I substituted date past for sugar and almond/coconut milk for creme. OMG was it tasty. Nothing like eating a delicious frozen desert and not feeling guilty about it. This stuff is the best. Fyi…many grocery stores will sell nice big dates in “bulk” in the produce department…just reach in with tongs and dish out a couple pounds. Much cheaper than buying them 1lb bags. Mike
Thanks for the great tips, Mike! That frozen dessert sure sounds like a dream! Date and coconut ice cream… I could definitely go for that!
As for sourcing the dates, I tend to buy mine in large 2 to 3 kilo bags, either at COSTCO when they have them, or at my favorite bulk food store. The dates that they sell here in the produce department are the Medjool variety and they cost an arm and a leg. I would never use them to make date paste… lucky for you if they are more affordable in your part of the world! 😉
I am new here Sonia, I love this site. I will make my date paste with figs. I can hardly wait.
Ooooh, bet it’ll be fantastic with figs, with all the little seeds and all. Yummy, gooey, crunchy sweetness!
Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.
Made it. Taste like cookie dough with the vanilla and salt added. Very nice.
Dates are good with just about anything, i never use table sugar anymore for anything. All you need are Dates. They are as sweet as honey, and are full of fiber and other good stuff.
Chocolate, Vanilla and nuts are the best when mixed with dates.
I have a date palm in my garden here in Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean Island) and this year have got so many fresh dates changing colour from yellow to brown every day I didn’t know what to do with them all ………….. until I found this recipe for date paste. You’ve come to my rescue, but as they are so fresh straight off the tree I don’t think I need to add any water. Will post to say how good it is (hopefully) when I have made some.
I totally agree with you, I don’t think that the water will be necessary at all! Can’t wait to find out how it turned out!
It turned out great! Made far too much to use up in a couple of months so keeping one large jar in fridge to use and have frozen loads more in smaller quantities. Hope it’s ok after freezing.
I really wouldn’t see why not, Mike. Thanks for the update! 🙂
I would like to start using this date paste in some of my other recipes, what would be the replacement ratio to regular sugar be? Would I need to reduce the amount of butter/oil in baked goods?
I wish I had an exact measurement that I could give you, Patty, but unfortunately, I don’t think there really is a one size fits all answer to this question… especially since it would not be a suitable replacement in all cases where sugar is called for. For instance, this would really not work in a meringue or whipped cream recipe. So it really is something that must be dealt with on a per case basis.
Sorry that I can’t be of more help…
Your recipe says the date paste will last up to 3 months in the fridge, which is ideal for me because my first batch is GINORMOUS and I don’t make a lot of sweet things. But a lot of other sources I’ve found online say the paste is good for up to a week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer? I’m really confused! I don’t want my paste to go bad after a week, and I’d rather not have to freeze it. Is there a reason for the discrepancy??
Opinions vary greatly when it comes to how long certain foods will keep for: some people will say chuck homemade mayo after a day, others will keep theirs for weeks. Some people say nut butters will only keep for a week and needs to be refrigerated, others, like me, will keep theirs in the cupboards for several weeks, or even a few months.
Date paste, I’ve personally kept in my fridge for longer than 3 months and it never went bad on me… if properly prepared and stored, it will keep for a very long time.
I made mine on 1st November 2015 and have been using it almost every day since while keeping in the fridge and it’s still fine. Still got quite a bit left in the jar so hopefully still be ok well after 3 months. Love the stuff especially cooked into porridge oats.
Do you buy your dates in bulk? Where? I started using date puree in my dairy free coffee creamer. I found the recipe on Deliciously Organic blog. Delicious!!
I tend to get mine at COSTCO. They have great big bags of organic dates for a very decent price!
Thank you for the great recipe to pass around to friends after I tell them about the wonders of date paste! I’m very curious about how to substitute in recipes that call for dates. So, if a recipe called for 16 dates how much paste would I use? Also does your paste still have tiny bits of date or is it truly smooth and creamy? Mine has little bits still. What kind of food processor do you use and how long does it usually take?
I’ve been making raisin-date paste for about a year now and love having this natural sweetener option. I usually fill an Adams peanut butter(32 oz) jar 2/3 full of half raisins and half dates then fill the jar an inch from the top with water. After soaking it in the fridge for a few days (the longer the better), I pour off and save the water to make a raw chocolate syrup. Sooooo YUMMY! First I process my raisin-date paste, then the chocolate syrup, then a glass of chocolate milk! I make it all one after another so I don’t have to spend so much time cleaning my blender.
Thanks again! I can’t wait to look through your website and check out all your other recipes for healthy living!
I never really thought of it that way, Brandy, but let’s try and figure this out: 16 pitted dates weigh about 80 grams, whereas 1/4 of a cup of date paste weighs 75g. With that in mind, I suppose you could safely say that you will need one tablespoon of date paste to replace 4 dates.
And to answer your question, my date paste is really smooth and creamy and has no lumps or bits in it whatsoever. Do you soak or soften your dates in the microwave beforehand? That step is imperative if you’re gonna get date paste that’s silky smooth!
Can I use the paste in place of sugar in other receipes? What is the substitution ratio?
Hi! I loved this recipe and I’m definitely going to try it today! Just a question though: I’ve always subsituted chocolate with dates and I’ve read some cool recipes about peanut butter cups. Since I’m highly annoyed by chocolates, can I use this date paste for my peanut butter cups instead of chocolates?
Date paste will not set like chocolate, Areesh… so if what you’re wanting to do is make the cup out of date paste, no, it will not work.
Thanks for the wonderful recipe, we’d like to cover your products if you make any related to dates in our specially dates website dedicated to the date fruit, http://www.fodakty.com, please let us know if you have any interest
Thanks for that, I greatly appreciate the offer, but I don’t actually sell any products…
Very healthy post.
You explained it very well with the help of pictures.
Thanks for sharing.
How much date paste should I use to substitute 1 cup of white sugar for a brownie recipe?
It’s hard to say without actually trying the recipe, but for brownies, I would probably go with a 1-to-1 ratio.
Can I use a Vitamix instead of a food processor?
Absolutely, Janelle! I always make mine in the Vitamix now that I have one. You *may* need to add a little bit more water, though, just to get the action going.
Thank you so much for your response! I cannot wait to make it and use it!
Can this be canned without losing flavor or consistency?
There’s no need to can it, Dona… the date paste keeps for a few months in the refrigerator.
Hi Sonia: Thanks for this recipe. I tried it and I think I’ll be adding it to one of my staple recipes. I tried substituting it in black bean brownie- not quite sweet enough, but that’s ok, because I love adding it to my morning quinoa porridge. And I didn’t follow the numbers exactly. I just shoved as many dates as I could in a jar and made up the rest of the space with water. Left it overnight and whizzed it in the food processor in the morning. So easy and so delicious!
Happy to hear, Jess. And quinoa porridge with date paste in it sounds extremely yummy! I think I might have to give that a try myself… Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
Just made this in my Ninja – WOW so easy! The end result looked a lot like peanut butter 🙂 I did have to add a bit more water though while it was in the Ninja. I also used the smaller mason jar because I didn’t want to use all of my expensive, Medjool dates, but then I had a hard time packing in all of the paste (just by a bit). It’s in the refrigerator now and I am excited to try it tonight in the sweet potato brownies!
Peanut butter, really? Funny, I just made a small batch in my Ninja too (I needed date paste and only had about a cup of dates left) and found that it came out much lighter in color than it usually does. Not quite as light as peanut butter, though. You’ll see, it’ll get a lot darker after it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge for a few days.
Good luck with the sweet potato brownies. Be sure to let me know how they turn out! 🙂
Could you use this to glaze nuts? That would be like the ultimate healthy snack!
I would not really ever set, Amy, so I wouldn’t suggest it…
Could I use this to slather on puff pastry dough, roll, cut and make pin wheels??
That sounds absolutely delicious! I’m certain that it would work perfectly!
simple question, how i can preserve the color of the dates (yellow brown) after grinding process and keeping it in refrigerator??? i made a trail and i add lemon juice drops but the taste of the paste appear to be trace of lemon sense. might expressed as roughen or fermented for people who doesn’t know.
is there alternative practice.
Mmm, fantastic! I made another batch and used (decaf) espresso instead of water and let it sit overnight. It made an AMAZING syrup with the espresso and I spooned some of it and the dates over yogurt, over ice cream, topping a fruit bread… Then I had to make another batch, just so I could actually blitz it into a paste like I should have to begin with! What a treat!
Indeed, coffee pairs so incredibly well with date paste! I do that sometimes, too. Pretty hard to resist… glad you discovered that trick too! 🙂
Date is one of my favorite food as it is or as a part of a great dish. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Definitely going to make it!
My kids still loving this paste. You can just use it in any dish you want.
My dates have sat in the water in my fridge for almost a week as I didn’t have time to make them into the paste. how long can I keep them like this before they’re no good?
If they’re in the fridge, they should keep for several weeks no problem!
I love your practical teaching so simple and straight forward.I must try this.Thanks so much.
Thank YOU so much for your kind words! 🙂
Where have you been all my life? I just found you through your date paste recipe. And, you are right! I am in love with this!!!! Great in coffee, baked goods, smoothies, really anywhere I would normally use honey. Except, I have a freezer full of dates, so this is really awesome for me!!!
Haha! Happy date paste making days ahead! 🙂
Don’t know about trying this honestly! LOL
I mean it looks good, I’m just not a fan of Dates.
I fondly remember as a little girl. My mother grew Stevia in our backyard and I used to chew on the leaves. They wouldn’t let us have candy growing up. The Stevia leaves were the closest thing to candy that we had.
What a great idea. This date paste looks delicious. I really must make it. It’ll be great with so many different foods. I love how easy it is to make.
How long does this date paste last? I.e. what is the best before date once the jar has been opened?
Oh boy, this sounds absolutely amazing! I’ve been recently addicted to “plum butter”, so this seems like the next step in my “butter” journey.
Thanks for giving us useful information about the date.This post is very interesting.As we know, Dates are the best diet fruit for health.
Made this today using the microwave method. This came out creamy and delicious, like apple butter. Im planning to use this as an addition to smoothies, replacement for honey in baking, and it would be great to spread on bread! (once i can make a good GF bread)
My blender is on its last leg. I am debating whether to get another blender or a food processor. Lack of storage space is an issue with me so I can’t really have both. Is one better than another for things like date paste.
Personally, now that I have a high speed blender, I tend to use that one way more than I do my food processor… date paste, I definitely make in the Vitamix now. It gets so much smoother and creamier! Same goes for most nut butters, soups, smoothies and other creamy concoctions. So for me, I say the high speed blender definitely takes it. However, if I was to choose between a standard blender and a food processor, then I would definitely go with the latter. Hope this helps! 🙂
Hmm I followed recipe exactly, not sure why mine looks a lot lighter in color and not as thick as your paste.
Hi there! This looks like an amazing recipe. I’m going to use it in my chocolate smash cake for my lil guy. Question, if I don’t have a food processor will a blender work?
Absolutely. I make mine in a Vitamix all the time and it works perfectly.
Do you take out the pits in dates or just grind them up too?
The recipe calls for pitted dates…
I didn’t know you could or people did grind it up too. Wouldn’t it be gritty?
This was great! Good sugar alternative, for diabetics. 👍
Thank you! I’m so happy with this, a recipe that actually was easy & realistic, outcome was exact & AMAZING. I’m looking forward to enjoying this with breakfast (oats, chia, apples), & see what else I discover, as I’ll be sure to keep making it 🤍
You are very welcome! Thank YOU for your amazing feedback and stellar rating! 🙂
Thx for the great recipe… My Room Mate has been really trying to change the way she eats this last year… But shez always saying ah i need butter.. Or the sweets… She has a hard time with her cravings and not letting them win… So she has been sAying i wonder if you could make Dates into like a soft spread of some sort… So scooby me had to find out… Was surprised i actuallythought i would find more recipes… But yours was the only of a few that popped out at me… And making it… I see really this really needs to b3 the only one!!! Thanks again!
Definitely a staple for me. I’m not vegan or keto or anything in that vein; I simply like that this date paste serves as a natural sweetener for many things like smoothies, oatmeal, toast spread, etc.