Date Sugar can be a great addition to your food storage plan
On a recent trip to Bob’s Red Mill, I purchased some date sugar to add to my food storage. I’ve never used it before so I thought I would give it a try. It looks just like brown sugar, but it’s not moist and doesn’t pack like brown sugar does. Bob’s suggests it is a good addition in cinnamon rolls. Why not add this healthy sugar to my food storage plan?
Date sugar is considered the healthiest sweetener. A recent study from Virginia Tech has ranked sweeteners according to their antioxidant content and put it at the top. (reference)
If I can use date sugar instead of other sweeteners and reap even half of these benefits, I figure I’m well ahead of the curve. Why not substitute it in my food storage plan? In her article, Five Health Benefits of Dates, author Julie Daniluk lists these benefits:
- Dates are a source of antioxidants
- Dates can be good for blood sugar balance
- Dates help reduce blood pressure
- Dates contain a brain booster
- Dates help maintain bone mass
The Glycemic index of the dried dates is 42. (in comparison an apple has and index of 39 and an orange is 40). Dates, when eaten alone or in mixed meals with plain yogurt, have a low glycemic index. Plus the consumption of dates may be of benefit in glycemic and lipid control in diabetic patients.
What is Date Sugar made from?
Simply dehydrated and ground Dates! Used as a 1:1 substitute for brown sugar or white sugar, Date Sugar will impart softness to the texture of baked goods, similar to Maple Crystals. You will also find Date Sugar to be less sweet than both brown and white sugar. Date sugar does not melt well, but you will be able to see it in your baked goods. Some experimentation may be necessary when converting recipes. Date Sugar is particularly tasty in morning oatmeal!
Can you make Date Sugar yourself?
Carefully select the dates you will use in dehydrating. They should be fully ripe, but not show any signs of spoilage. Thoroughly wash and dry your dates before you begin to reduce the chance of contaminants.
To make the processing go faster, remove the pit and cut the date open. This will help the dates dehydrate evenly. If you can find them with the pits removed, even better. Emily, at Butter Believer, has a tutorial to help make your own. It’s worth checking out if you want to try to do it yourself.
How long can you store Date Sugar?
Fruit doesn’t keep as well as many dehydrated items. To extend its storage life up to 5 years, keep it in an oxygen free environment. I like to use my FoodSaver for these things. It lets me keep it in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator or pantry. Aim to keep it stored in an environment less than 70 degrees F. and keep out moisture.
If you use an oxygen absorber on white sugar it will eventually take out all the oxygen and make it get rock hard. I wasn’t able to determine if date sugar will do that too. You can extend that shelf life to 10 years by taking away the oxygen and keeping it packaged in the freezer. If I was going to buy it in a large quantity, that’s what I would do with it.
To substitute date sugar for 1 cup granulated white sugar, use 2/3 cup dehydrated dates and check out Gluten Free Gigi for more ideas about making with date sugar and take a look at her scrumptious Gluten Free Sweet Potato Recipe.
Does Date Sugar have a place in your food storage? It sure does in mine! What about you, do you have it in your food storage?