Finding fresh and innovative ways to make traditional meals healthy is one of the best parts of being a mom.
Dates are a nutritional powerhouse, so why not replace them for some of the other components in your recipe?
You might be amazed at how tasty dates-based meals can be! But what if dates aren’t available at that time?
That’s why we bring some relevant substitutes for dates. So keep reading!
What are Dates?
Dates are sweet, edible fruits that come from the date palm tree.
Dates have been enjoyed for centuries and are a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. There are many different types of dates, but all are either soft or sticky when ripe.
Most dates are sold dried, which extends their shelf life.
Dried dates can be eaten as is or reconstituted by soaking in water. Dates are also used in baking, making them a versatile ingredient.
They are high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation.
Dates are a great snack food because they are filling and nutritious. They are a good source of energy and can help you stay focused during the day.
Dates are a delicious and healthy snack, and they make a great addition to any diet.
11 Ready-made Best Substitutes for Dates
Dried plums, also known as prunes, are a great natural sweetener for baked goods and other recipes.
Prunes are high in fiber and have a lower glycemic index than most dried fruits, making them an excellent choice for persons with diabetes or blood sugar concerns.
They also contain antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial for overall health.
2. DATE SYRUP
Date syrup is a thick, brown syrup made from date concentrate and water.
Date syrup is often used as a natural sweetener in baking, smoothies, and other recipes.
Date syrup has a caramel-like flavor and is a good fiber, potassium, and magnesium source.
Date syrup can be purchased online or at health food stores. It is very easy to make date syrup at home.
3. DRIED RAISINS
Dates are still among the best fruits to use in baking and cooking, and raisins or dehydrated dates can be substituted for dates in many recipes.
If you don’t have dates on hand, substituting them with raisins will work just fine in almost any recipe!
Raisins can be purchased at any grocery store or market without added sugar (usually the case for most dried fruit).
Honey has more healthy nutrients than sugar, so people usually switch to honey in their dishes. Here is a simple way to replace the same amount of dates with honey in your recipe.
Simply follow these steps: for 1 cup of dates, use 2 cups of honey and half a cup of water.
The very first step is to eliminate all pits from your dates (and also wash them). Then, combine them with hot water until they form a paste-like consistency.
Then add your honey, mix everything well and let it cook for 20 minutes or until it thickens. Serve on toast or pancakes or use as topping for ice cream!
5. DRIED APRICOTS
Dried apricots are a delicious, healthy substitution for dates in recipes.
Apricots are a reliable source of dietary fiber and vitamin A. They have a slightly sweet taste that can add flavor to recipes.
To substitute dried apricots for dates in a recipe, use 1 cup of chopped apricots for every 1 cup of chopped dates.
If the recipe calls for pitted dates, soak the apricots in hot water for 10 minutes before using them in the recipe.
6. MEDJOOL DATES
Medjool dates are larger and moister than other varieties of dates. They can be substituted for other varieties of dates in recipes. Medjool dates can also be eaten fresh or used in smoothies.
7. DRIED CRANBERRIES
The filling for this tart is adapted from a traditional Danish recipe. The sour flavor of the cranberries really comes through and makes it something special.
Dried whole cranberries can be used in place of dates, but keep in mind that they will add additional moisture to the batter.
If necessary, you can remove some cranberry juice before adding them to the dough.
If you’re using fresh cranberries, you’ll need around 1 1/2 cups. You have the option of chopping them up or leaving them whole.
The best way to use jujube in a recipe is to replace dates. Jujube has a sweet and sour taste that is similar to dates. Still, it also has a slight bitterness that can add complexity to recipes.
Jujubes can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, so they are a versatile ingredient to have.
The pulp of the jujube is actually very dry, and it contains a lot of sugars, so generally, one would not eat raw jujube.
You can use jujubes as a replacement with the same amount of fruit.
For example, the recipe needs one cup of pitted and chopped dates, substitute with one cup of jujube pulp, and remove the seeds before chopping or processing into small pieces.
9. DRIES BERRIES & CHERRIES
The great thing about dried berries is that they can be used in place of dates in a recipe.
Simply soak the berries in hot water for about 10 minutes, then drain and use them in the recipe as you would the dates.
Remember that the amount of water you need to soak the berries may vary depending on the recipe, so you may need to add more or less water.
Additionally, the flavor of different berries will vary, so you may want to experiment with different types of berries until you find one that you like best.
If you are looking to cut down on the sugar content of your recipe, jaggery is a good alternative to dates.
Jaggery is derived from sugarcane juice, which has a flavor and sweetness similar to dates.
However, jaggery contains less sugar than dates, making it a healthier option.
You can use jaggery in most recipes that call for dates. Use the same amount of jaggery in the original recipe for best results.
11. MAPLE SYRUP
You can absolutely use maple syrup in place of dates in a recipe. Maple syrup will have a similar flavor and texture to the soft, sticky nature of the date, so it may not be 100% identical, but it should work just fine.
As always, though, I recommend tasting the recipe as you go to make sure the flavors are balanced.
What can I use instead of dates in a smoothie?
Fresh or frozen fruit is one choice for your smoothie. This will add natural sweetness and taste to your smoothie.
Sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar can also be used. If you like a vegan choice, you can add dates or stevia.
Stevia rebaudiana is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It has a sweet taste and is calorie-free.
What Can I substitute for dates in sticky toffee pudding?
Dates are an essential part of many traditional puddings. But what should you do if you don’t eat dates or can’t find them?
We’ve come up with some suggestions for alternatives, depending on the recipe.
The good news is that most recipes allow you to swap out the dates. Fruits like raisins, cranberries, prunes, and apricots are examples.
Keep in mind that you might need to adjust other ingredients (e.g., volume/weight) because dates provide not only sweetness but also liquid and binding properties.
Wrap Up On Dates Substitute
It’s quick and simple with a few ingredients that most people have in their kitchen already.
You could still add your favorite spices or vegetables to add some more flavor!
Remember not to over-cook the ingredients because they will become very mushy and lose their texture if overcooked.
Keep checking on it while cooking until it becomes tender but still has a bite of crunch when bitten into. Your family will love this dish as much as mine does!
FAQs Related to Dates & Its Alternative
Q1. Do dates have sugar?
The solution to this question is somewhat tricky. The short answer is that dates contain sugar, but the amount varies depending on the variety of dates.
Some varieties of dates have more sugar than others.
Most of the sugar in dates comes from fructose, which is a natural sweetener. Dates also contain glucose and sucrose.
These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This is why people with diabetes should be careful about eating too many dates.
Q2. How do you bake with sugar instead of dates?
It is simple to replace sugar in recipes with dates. To soften the dates, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes.
Then, blend the dates with a small amount of water until they form a paste.
Finally, replace the sugar in the recipe with an equal amount of date paste. Be sure to mix the date paste well into the other ingredients to ensure even baking.