Growing up I hated dried fruit. I wouldn’t touch a raisin if you paid me. I didn’t like the texture of them and honestly I still don’t. I really wish I had know about date paste then. It’s got all of the flavor of dates, with none of the texture.
But honestly when I was a kid I thought there was only one kind of date. The big Medjool you get at the grocery store. You know the large variety that have a caramel like flavor and a chewy inside. I’ve since learned there are over 200 varieties of them. We have two favorites in our house. The Honey Date which tastes like, you guessed it…honey. The other is the Zahidi which has a sugary flavor and is light. If you haven’t tried more than one variety I urge you to go out and find some. They are all wonderful and different in their own special ways.
Another variety to consider if you can’t find any of those is is the Deglet. I mention these because they can easily be found on the internet. They tend to be a drier variety in my opinion. But they will still work great for this recipe.
What is Date Paste
Dates are wonderful in that they can be used for so many different applications. Everything from wrapping them in bacon to making raw vegan brownies. Date paste is a wonderful recipe to have in your home. It is so simple. Only one ingredient is needed. Dates. Then you just add water and something magical happens.
The dates turn into a wonderful paste that can be used in so many applications. You can put it on toast as a substitute for jam. You can use it to sweeten cakes and desserts. You can use it to emulsify salad dressings. You can dip apples in it for a simple caramel like substitute. Put it on pancakes. The possibilities are endless.
Pitted Vs. Un-Pitted
You can purchase the dates pitted or unpitted. I have done both and the recipe has come out fine. Just know that pitted dates don’t last as long and they tend to dry out easier. However if you purchase unpitted dates you will need to remove both the seed inside and the hard stem on the top of one end if it has one. They look like a small, hard flat disk. They are not tasty.
If the dates are super fresh and ripe you can just pull them apart by hand. No need to get a knife out. If they are on the harder side my tool of choice is a set of sharp kitchen shears. Just cut along one side and remove the pit.
Soaking Raw vs. Hot Water
I didn’t set a specific weight on this recipe because it only requires equal parts water to dates for soaking. Just keep in mind that if you have a very large blender or food processor you will want to use more dates so they don’t jam up your machine.
If you choose to do this recipe with hot water, you will only need to soak the dates for about 10 minutes. If you want to make this a raw recipe then you will want to soak at least an hour or even overnight depending on the dryness of your dates.
Once they are soaked, removed the dates to your food processor. A high powered blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec is best as it will make the smoothest consistency. But any blender or processor will work. Just know it may not come out quite as smooth.
Turn your machine on to process and add the remaining water a little at a time until to acheive your desired consistency. My dates were so fresh I didn’t even add any and it came out great. But you may need up to 1/4 or even 1/2 cup of the water if your dates are very dry. I try to acheive a pudding or preserve like consistency.
Don’t throw that leftover water out. It’s basically a simple syrup and it’s fantastic. You can use it in smoothies, nut milks, pancake batters, muffins and cakes. I even thought it might be nice in a cocktail.
Once made it will keep in the fridge up to a month. If you freeze properly it can last a year. Although I’ve never had one last that long. If you make it, let me know how you use it in your own recipes. I love finding new ways to use these staple ingredients.
Simple Date Paste (1 Ingredient)
- 8-12 Oz Pitted dates you can buy pitted or pit them yourself.
- 8-12 Oz hot water cool to cold water for a raw recipe
- Soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes. Soak 1 hour and up to overnight for cold water.
- Place drained dates in blender.
- Begin blending and add 1 tsp of water at a time while blending until desired consistency is acheived. Should be thick like a pudding or preserves.
- Continue blending until a smooth paste is made.
- Store in fridge in an airtight container up to 4 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.