Dates in place of sugar

''Dates in place of sugar>

Dates in place of sugar

Dates in place of sugar Hopefully by now you’re aware that consuming too much sugar is bad for you. And you know about how sugar, in any amount, is a straight up toxin to our bodies. Either way, many of us attempt to cut out that delicious killer from our diets. Is a life worth living if it’s done without fresh berry scones, chocolate chip cookies or blueberry pancakes?
Anything that tastes sweet has something in it to taste like that. Whether it’s agave, dates, stevia or even a hefty portion of rice syrup.
Dates are a healthy source of natural sugar that can contribute to delicious recipes. The fibre slows down fructose absorption and blood sugar impact. they are a powerhouse sweetener. Not only are they naturally high in sugar and fiber, but their sweetness also has distinct caramel-like flavor that just cannot be replicated. However, when it comes to replacing dates for white sugar in cooking and baking, a simple one-for-one swap isn’t always possible. But dates can be manipulated into a few baking-friendly forms and replace white sugar in everything from salad dressing to cookies.

The nutritious benefits of dates

Dates are a good source of nutritions. This essential nutritions is important for:
• building muscle
• controlling fluid balance
• regulating your heartbeat and blood pressure
• protection against stroke and heart disease

4 dates contain about 668 mg of potassium, or 14 percent of your daily potassium requirement.
A serving of dates also satisfies around 12 percent of your daily need for niacin, an important vitamin that your body uses to help break down food into energy and to assist with nerve function.
Dates also contain a healthy amount of vitamin B-6, which the body uses to build muscle and grow hair and nails. They contain vitamin A, which is needed for protecting the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
Dates are an excellent source of iron as well, containing about 11 percent of the recommended daily amount. Iron is important for making red blood cells and helping them carry oxygen to the cells of your body.
Not unlike figs, dates are wonderful for the stomach, bones and blood. They are rich in minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper and manganese, and help to promote bowel regularity. Their complex natural sugar constitution makes them an energetic food that helps us move and boosts our metabolism.

Do dates raise your blood sugar?

Foods with a high glycemic index, which is ranked from 1 to 100, will make blood sugar rise quickly. Those with a lower glycemic index cause blood sugar to rise at a steadier, safer pace. Eating dates and using them as a sugar substitute may help those with a sweet tooth avoid those high glycemic foods.

Are dates the new low glycemic sugar substitute?

For people who need to watch their blood glucose, aka blood sugar, sweet and high-carbohydrate foods can be problematic, especially for those with diabetes. Many of them rely on information about a food’s glycemic index (GI), which measures how much a food will spike blood glucose, to help them make healthy choices. Foods with a high glycemic index, which is ranked from 1 to 100, will make blood sugar rise quickly. Those with a lower glycemic index cause blood sugar to rise at a steadier, safer pace.
Scientists analyzed five common varieties of dates for their glycemic index and their effects on the blood sugar of healthy subjects and subjects with type 2 diabetes.

The consumption of dates by healthy or diabetic individuals, the study concluded, does not result in “significant postprandial glucose excursion,” otherwise known as blood sugar spikes. The varieties of dates tested had a glycemic index of 46 to 55 for the healthy subjects and 43 to 53 for the type 2 diabetic subjects, making them low glycemic index foods. (A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56 to 69 inclusive is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low)

Fruits like dates can be used as a low glycemic sugar substitute for diabetics and for prediabetics who hope to keep their blood sugar in check.
The positive
• Completely natural – you know exactly where your sugar is coming from and in terms of processing, they’ve probably just been squashed a bit into bar like form!
• High in fibre (helps to slow down the fructose absorption & we need lots of fibre in our diets).
• Additional nutritional benefit – for example they’re a source of potassium.
The negative
• High source of fructose by ratio to their weight (approximately 7.7g fructose per medium medjool date).
• Small and concentrated form of sugar.
• Easy to eat more than one (thus consuming excessive fructose).
• May still drive sugar cravings.

Here are the three best ways to replace white sugar with dates:

1. Try Date Sugar
Date sugar is made from dehydrated dates that are ground into a granulated, sugar-like consistency. Because whole, pitted dates are used to make the sugar, their fiber leaves a tiny grit to the sugar that won’t dissolve in hot liquids or baked goods. It has a sweet, butterscotch-like flavor that’s more nuanced than brown sugar, although it shares a similar appearance.
Try date sugar in a rub for pork or chicken, where its caramel flavor can really shine with just a small amount; bake it in simple cookies, where you can really taste its nuances and take advantage of the additional fiber; or use date sugar as a topping for muffins or your morning oatmeal, or to add caramel coloring to the top of your favorite pie.

2. Use raw Dates
Because dates are high in fiber and naturally sticky, they can be blended into a binder for cookies and bars, or turned into caramel. They work well as a sweetener for smoothies and salad dressings that will be blended as well.

3. Make a date syrup
You can turn dates into syrup — real syrup that involves boiling the dates and reducing the liquid until it’s the consistency of honey. It’s a bit of work, but the raw stuff (made in a high-powdered blender with just water) won’t cut it for baking.
For baking, you need to use less date syrup when replacing granulated sugar — a ratio of 2/3 cup date syrup for every 1 cup of sugar — and less liquid in the recipe. Or simply replace honey, maple syrup, or molasses with date syrup in baking recipes for a more caramel-like flavor that only dates can impart.

Here’s favorite ways to use them

• Sweeten coffee
A simple date paste recipe is a yummy addition to coffees and teas. Blend 8-9 soaked, pitted medjool dates, 1 ¼ cup water and 1 ½ tsp lemon juice until it’s smooth. This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
• Use in sugar-free baking
Dates make the perfect binder and sweetener for raw desserts: just blend them with nuts and seeds to form a solid crust for pies and tarts. You can also use the date syrup above in place of brown or white sugar, molasses, agave, etc.

• Smoothies
Add 1-2 dates to taste instead of honey or agave. If they’re soaked before blending, the dates will melt into the mixture and leave nothing but a subtle sweet taste (no weird chewy bits, unless you want them).

• Salads and dressings
Processed dressings are chock-full of hidden sugar. You can make your own by blending a date, your favorite oil, lemon juice and sumac (or other spices to taste).

To sum up, date sugar is a whole food sweetener that contains plenty of fiber, minerals and antioxidants, just like whole dates. As regular sugar is highly processed and virtually devoid of any vitamins and minerals, date sugar is definitely a more nutritious alternative to regular sugar. That said, date sugar is a significant source of simple carbohydrates and calories, so you should use it with caution, just like all other sweeteners.

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