The date palm tree from which dates and date sugar come is thought to have originated in the Persian Gulf. Date palm trees are believed to have been especially abundant in the area between the Nile and Euphrates. They were cultivated in Arabia as early as 4,000 BC. Along with their presence in the Middle East, date palms are grown in Europe as well. The date palm is grown in the southern part of the continent, in countries like Italy and Greece.
It is important to note that date sugar is a different product than date palm sugar, despite the fact that both come from the same tree. Date palm sugar is made from the sap of the date palm tree while date sugar is made from the tree’s fruit.
Flavor profile of date sugar
Date sugar is as sweet as brown sugar and can be used as 1:1 substitute for it. Aside from its sweetness, its predominant flavor note is that of butterscotch.
Health benefits of date sugar
While date sugar may look similar to brown sugar, its composition is entirely different. Date sugar is different from cane sugar and most other sugars in that it is not a crystallized syrup, but consists of ground and dehydrated dates.
- Minerals: It’s is a good source of several minerals including magnesium and copper. The fact that the dates used to make it are dehydrated does not result in loss of their mineral content. From 100 g of date sugar, you can get as much as 11 percent of the magnesium you need each day and 10 percent of the copper. You can get a significant amount of iron and calcium as well.
- Fiber: The fact that date sugar is not crystalline like other sugars means that you can get nutrients from it that you would not get from most other sugars. One of the most significant nutrients in date sugar is fiber. You can get as much as 8 g of fiber from 100 g of date sugar.
- Antioxidants: Date sugar is also a good source of antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
The nutrients in date sugar make a diet that contains it beneficial for treating or preventing health conditions like:
- Constipation: The fiber in date sugar can make it helpful for moving waste through your bowels quickly, thus relieving constipation.
- Cancer: Along with the fact that it contains cancer-fighting antioxidants, the fiber that date sugar contains may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Diabetes: It has been shown that dates are a lower glycemic index food despite containing natural sugars. The result is that they do not cause as severe a spike in blood sugar after eating when compared to other types of sugar.
Common uses of date sugar
One of the drawbacks of date sugar not being crystalline like other sugars is the fact that it does not dissolve like other sugars. While it can be used to sweeten baked goods and beverages like any other sugar, it does not do so by melting away the way a crystalline sugar would. It is great in applications where complete dissolution is not is not necessary. Use it to sweeten oatmeal, as a topping for yogurt or for muffins. It can also work as a brown sugar alternative in dry rubs for meat.