If you haven’t had real date syrup before, you’re in for a treat.
Also known as date honey or date nectar, date syrup has the consistency of molasses or maple syrup and the unique fruity flavor of dates. It’s also far more nutritious than other sweetener, with higher levels of potassium, magnesium and antioxidants.
This homemade date syrup recipe goes a few extra steps further than most to produce a caramelized sweetener that’s both slightly savory and sweet.
To make date syrup, you’ll need a few simple tools, including a pot, a strainer and cheesecloth or a thin clean kitchen towel. You’ll also need a little patience, as the dates first have to boil down into a slurry before being strained into a juice. The strained date juice then gets simmered down to a thick syrup.
Unlike other recipes, this one is 100 percent syrup from Medjool dates and doesn't include anything extra, like lemon juice. It also doesn’t require special equipment, like a food processor.
This versatile natural sweetener can be used to replace refined sugar in most recipes, especially ones that call for liquid sweeteners. It’s great for cookies, pies and as an ice cream topper.
If you don't want to take the time to make it, you can get the best store-bought date syrup right here.
Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 Minutes
Yields ½ cup
20 pitted dates
3 cups water
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer dates and water until dates start to soften, 15 to 20 minutes. Mash dates with potato masher or fork, then simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mash again until you have a date-water slurry.
- Place a thick cheesecloth in a mesh strainer and pour the slurry through. Squeeze the cheesecloth with your hands to get as much date juice through as possible. You should have a translucent, red-purple-brown date juice. (You can keep the date paste to sweeten smoothies or make bars, or discard.)
- Pour the translucent juice back into the saucepan and return to the stove. Simmer over low heat, stirring every 10 minutes, until it turns into a dark brown syrup, 40 to 45 minutes. You’ll know the syrup is done by placing a little drop on a cold plate, and seeing how runny it is.
- Store in an airtight container or freezer-safe container.”