When people go on a whole-foods, plant-based diet, or just wanna upgrade their vegan plan to be less processed one of the first thoughts is, “what am I going to sweeten with?” There are lots of good options, some are less wholesome and more refined than others, but my personal favorites are brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut nectar and the best of all; date paste! Some of the best dates you can buy come from the Bautista Family Organic Date Ranch, and can be purchased at 7hotdates.com.
I don’t know where date paste was invented, but my familiarity with it came from working in raw food cafes where making big batches of it became a perfect resource for adjusting sweetness and making desserts on the fly. It also allows you to sweeten teas in a whole foods way. The great thing about using date paste in smoothies is that sometimes when you make smoothies with dates it can be a little chunky, which is not always a bad thing if your going for a cookie dough quality, but if you aren’t than date paste yields a smoother after product.
To make date paste:
Use equal parts dates and water, being mindful of the fill capacity of your blender or food processor.
Pit the dates if they are not already, and soak them at least two hours and up to 6 hours, in the water you will use to blend.
To make in a blender:
Add dates and date soak water in equal quantities. Blend on high till smooth. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
To make in a food processor:
Add soaked dates to the food processor without water first. Pulse a few times. Now add 1/4 of your water and pulse some more. Continue to blend, slowly adding water through the feed hole, making sure not to do it so fast it splashes. Add water and continue to blend till the paste is smooth. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.