Date Sugar

Date sugar might be new to you, but it’s definitely worth learning about! We make our date sugar from whole crushed dates so it still has the fiber and the nutritional benefits of eating dates themselves. That’s what sets it apart from so many other alternative sweeteners!


Date sugar adds a mild sweetness to baked goods while offering a boost of fiber and minerals you don’t find in most sweeteners. Made from whole crushed dates, it retains the fiber, which keeps it from dissolving well in hot or cold liquids. For this reason, we recommend our date syrup for liquid sweetening and suggest using date sugar as a direct substitute for the total amount of sugar in a recipe. However, due to its higher fiber content, date sugar tends to absorb moisture, so we recommend reducing the amount of flour in your recipe by 25%.


Date Sugar's Nutrients

For every 2 tsp of date sugar, there are 22 calories, 5 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, and 4 grams of sugar. There is also a 1% daily value of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. And 2% daily value of phosphorus. For just 2 tsp, that’s pretty nutritious for a sugar!



Health Benefits of Date Sugar

Date sugar is made from a simple single ingredient: dried, ground dates. Just like our dates, our date sugar is organic, kosher, vegan, and paleo-friendly. It’s rich in magnesium, potassium, fiber, antioxidants, and various other vitamins and minerals. It also doesn’t contain any added flavors or colors! Ideal for baking, date sugar can be substituted for brown sugar and can even replace white sugar in recipes on a 1:1 ratio, with a recommendation to reduce the flour by 25% when subbing for white sugar.


Date Sugar vs. Other Sweeteners

When it comes to choosing sweeteners, date sugar offers a unique alternative to liquid options like honey, maple syrup, and agave. While honey and maple syrup bring distinct flavors and moisture to recipes, they can also alter the texture and require adjustments in liquid content. Date sugar, on the other hand, maintains its granular form and offers a subtle caramel-like flavor, making it ideal for baking. Additionally, the fiber content in dates distinguishes it from other sweeteners because fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels (8). Each sweetener has its own benefits, and the choice ultimately depends on the desired taste, texture, and nutritional benefits for your recipe.


Agave

Agave syrup has a lower glycemic index, however, it’s high in fructose which may not be what you want when looking for a healthier alternative. Fructose has been directly linked to several health issues. Agave does offer some nutritional properties, but research shows some of those properties may be altered or lost through the manufacturing process of the syrup (8).


Stevia

Stevia is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar and is considered a "non-nutritive sweetener," containing no carbs, calories, or artificial ingredients. It offers some benefits, such as being carb-free, making it better suited for diabetics, but shows some concerns for consumption in larger amounts. While it can be beneficial in small quantities, more research is needed to understand its effects when consumed in larger amounts. Stevia is also popular in low-calorie and keto diets. However, it may impact healthy gut bacteria and, when combined with erythritol, could increase the risks of heart attack and stroke (3). Many people experience a distinct aftertaste from stevia, as well. While it may not bother some, it might be something to keep in mind if you’re considering it for a recipe you’ll be sharing with others.


Coconut Sugar 

One teaspoon contains 18 calories, 5 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of sugar. While it does have some soluble fiber, it has very few nutrients and a fairly high calorie count. Nutritionists recommend limiting it just as you would with table sugar. Read more about the difference between date sugar and coconut sugar here. 


Xylitol 

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is produced in a chemical process from plants (7). 

Two teaspoons of xylitol has 20 calories and 8 grams of carbs. Xylitol has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis, have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can reduce constipation, diabetes, and obesity (5). However, consuming it in large amounts can cause side effects like IBS, diarrhea, and kidney stones.  


Thaumatin

Thaumatin comes from the Katemfe fruit, also called the miraculous fruit of Sudan, found in West Africa. Sold under the brand name Talin, this sweetener packs a punch—it's about 2,000 times sweeter than sugar! The FDA gives it the thumbs up as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) for sweetening and enhancing flavors (2). Like other natural sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit, it has a hint of licorice flavor that some folks might not enjoy. Although it's generally safe since it's a protein, some people might have an allergic reaction to it.


Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is 100-250 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories, carbs, or sugar, making it a lower-risk option for obesity. It has no known side effects and does not affect blood sugar levels. Additionally, monk fruit possesses antioxidant properties, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. However, its downsides include a high cost, limited availability, a learning curve for usage, and a different taste that may take some getting used to (3).


Potential Drawbacks

As with anything, moderation is important. There is a learning curve when baking with date sugar, but the nutritional benefits are worth it in our opinion. Just remember to reduce your flour to compensate for the added moisture, and if you need a sweetener that will dissolve, we recommend trying our date syrup instead!


How to use Date Sugar

In baking recipes, you can swap white sugar with date sugar in a 1:1 ratio and reduce the flour by 25%. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of flour, use 1 cup of date sugar and ¾ cup of flour instead. If you're using an alternative flour with specific baking guidelines, you’ll want to take those guidelines into consideration as well.

You can also give these tried and tested recipes a go and check out our website for a full list of date sugar recipes

Bonanza Cookies

Date-Sweetened Brownies

Superfood Granola

 


Conclusion

This article explores date sugar as a healthier alternative to traditional sweeteners. It is made from whole crushed dates, retaining fiber and nutrients often lost in other sweeteners. Date sugar is a good source of minerals and antioxidants, and it can replace white sugar 1:1 in baking recipes (while reducing flour by 25%).

Compared to other natural sweeteners like stevia, coconut sugar, xylitol, and monk fruit; date sugar offers a good balance of sweetness and nutritional value. Just remember it does not dissolve well in liquids, making it best suited for baking!

Overall, date sugar is a healthier sweetener option due to its natural origin, mineral content, and fiber. However, like all sweeteners, it should be used in moderation.

 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780323905947000119
  2. https://www.cspinet.org/article/thaumatin
  3. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/what-is-stevia
  4. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-coconut-sugar
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-020-10708-7
  6. https://www.nowfoods.com/products/natural-foods/xylitol-organic
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920771/#:~:text=Currently%2C%20xylitol%20is%20produced%20by,3%2C4%2C5%5D.
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643822003693
  9. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/healthy-eating/fiber-helps-diabetes.html#:~:text=Fiber%20can%20help:,Keep%20you%20feeling%20full.

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