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The Joys of Dates

Dates are steadily becoming a staple ingredient in our cooking pantry. We just keep falling more and more in love with them. For their flavour, their versatility and just how generally great they are. There are over one hundred varieties of these tropical fruits and they’re a main export from the Middle East and other frost free countries. Our team have been spending a lot of time in the test kitchen recently, experimenting with different date products and it’s safe to say that it was impossible to pick a winner as they all taste so great!

We thought it might be interesting to spare some thoughts for dates and the sacrifice they make so we can enjoy naturally sweetened cakes and delicious snacks.

Dates boast an impressive list of essential nutrients needed to keep our bodies healthy. They are high in fibre, iron and potassium and despite their sweetness, studies have shown that they contain monosaccharides, an easier sugar structure for our bodies to break down and is less likely to be stored as fat in the body. Dates give you a steadier release of energy and refrain from causing the sugar spike and dip you get after you’ve had too many pick and mix sweets. They don’t need to be refrigerated or preserved, so it’s no wonder they’re so easy to keep in the cupboard.

Now you’re in for a good one here, we’re sharing our best kept date secrets with you…you can thank us later!

Date Syrup is my new love. It’s sticky, gooey and refined sugar free! Golden syrup springs to mind when I use it but it’s definitely not as indulgent. We use this when you need to add sweetness to a bake or sweet sauce. It gives a deep rich layer to whatever you add it to.   

Our second fan favourite is date paste. It comes in small bitty pieces that can be heated to form a soft paste. This works great with oats and in flapjack recipes to sweeten and add a bit of texture because these gooey pieces are sprinkled throughout the product and provide a pleasant surprise to your taste buds when you bite down.

Last but certainly not least is the humble date. The hype around Mejiool was real in 2015 but I’m convinced it’s just because it sounds classy. Personally I love the Kahlas with its rich, soft caramel like flavour. The meaning of it’s name is ‘enough or finished’ in Arabic which suggests to me that people stopped looking for a better date once they found the Kahlas. If you’re in need of something sweet but nothing too naughty then try snacking on a date. You’ll forget a time when you didn’t have them in your life.

So there you have it, use this knowledge wisely. We hope you have as good of a time discovering what you can do with dates as we did.

Honeybuns shelf of baking ingredients

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