I want to talk a bit about sweeteners. There are many sweeteners for us healthy-minded people to choose from, but which one is the healthiest? For a vegan honey is a no-go, since that is an animal product. Many people in the vegan community, and thus also the recipes, instead use agave. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of agave, but simply say that it isn’t a product I have felt drawn to try. The reason in simple: date sirup. If I have to use a sweetener I think I want it be be as close to an actual fruit as possible and since I loooove dates, the choice was simple.
Great – I’ll go buy some date sirup this moment, someone might say then…and they would be so very wrong. The truth is the date sirup sold in stores might possibly be worse than a lot of other supposedly healthy substitutes. I found out this the hard way when I made a batch myself. If you have bought some from the store you know that it is dark, sirupy consistency and a slight “caramel” taste. The truth is that when you make raw date sirup it looks like this:
As you can see this has a yellow-brown color, a runny consistency (ok, you can’t see that) and date tasty (you can’t tell that either, but trust me). I don’t know if the one in stores is good or not, but comparing the two I feel my desire to ever use store-bought date sirup easily going down the drain. This is the recipe I used, though I think, since this was really too runny, next time I will go with a different one using 1 cup of dates and 1-1.5 cups of water (still lemon juice though). Use whichever one you feel right for. Process in the same either way.
10 medule dates (or 20 normal)
1 3/4 cups of water
lemon juice (preserves it longer)
1. Take it through blender, start slowly to break down dates, increasing speed and letting it go for a few minutes.
2. When you think you’ve failed and the recipe must be way wrong, because what you have here isn’t a date sirup, but a date smoothie – you’re done. Preserve in some kind of can/airtight container for at least 3 weeks.