If you’re looking for a way to replace refined sugar in cooking or baking but without sacrificing taste, you can opt for applesauce and other fruit purees, as these are great sugar substitutes but are still healthy. Otherwise, you can use fruits like dates that are known for their natural sweetness.
Dates aren’t just a healthy substitute for refined sugar; they’re a great source of fibre, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 too, so they’re a great choice for anyone wanting to eat healthy. The good news is, you can use these small fruits to make jam and then use the jam when cooking, or just spread it on bread or crackers. Here are a few types you can consider making.
2-Ingredient Date Jam
This jam is more of a paste since it uses only two ingredients, but thanks to the natural sweetness of dates, the taste can be comparable to that of jam. Medjool dates are the preferred variety to use in this recipe because they’re soft and have a caramel-like flavour. Nothing is stopping you from using other varieties, however, especially if they’re easier to find.
To make this date jam, you first have to remove the pits from the dates before adding them to a food processor or blender, then add water. You’ll want to use hot or boiling water since that will make it easier to blend. Afterwards, all you have to do is blend the mixture until the consistency is smooth.
Date and Apple Jam
This recipe calls for one Reinette apple – a kind of dessert apple – so it still counts as a date jam. You’ll need the Deglet Nour variety of dates, but any other variety would still work. Other ingredients include water, the juice from 2 small lemons, and brown sugar. You can add nutmeg or cinnamon, too, if desired.
To make the jam, remove the pits or stones from the dates and then cut them into small pieces. Core and peel the apple, cut it into small pieces, then add it to the blender or mixer along with lemon juice and quickly blend. Pour the mixture along with the dates into a saucepan and add the sugar and water. Mix these ingredients well before putting the pan on the stove. Cover the saucepan with a lid and cook the mixture for at most 40 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
Date Jam with Cinnamon
This type of jam lies somewhere between the first two, as far as effort is needed and the number of ingredients goes. You’ll need dates, hot water, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
Pit the dates and chop them up, then mix with hot water, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Leave the dates to soak up the liquid for about an hour, then add to a blender or food processor and puree. Make sure not to overdo it so much that you end up with a liquefied mixture instead of a spreadable jam.
Storing any of these date jams is as simple as pouring them into an airtight container or glass jar, then covering the container and keeping it in a cool, dry place such as the refrigerator. If you’re looking for ingredients for date jam or you want to try date syrup first, try visiting this page to make the search easier.