Save the date: Nature's candy

It seems as though people are always looking for sugar alternatives these days. Whether it be Stevia, Splenda, erythritol, honey, or agave (the list goes on), these sweet substitutes are found in packaged goods as well as homemade baked treats. However, sometimes adding just one sweet ingredient will do the trick…

BEHOLD, THE DATE!

Dates, because of their fructose content, have a natural, caramel like sweetness that can work wonders in smoothies, baked goods, ice cream, or even just on their own.

Aside from their candy-esque goodness, dates also have an excellent nutrition profile, and are packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fiber for their size.

Fiber is highly important for your digestive health… it will keep you ~regular~ and is also beneficial for blood sugar control. Controlling your blood sugar… with just a date? Say whaaat?

The antioxidants found in dates include, among others, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid.

But what do those sciencey words mean?

HERE’S A BREAKDOWN FOR YOU:

Flavonoids: anti-viral, help reduce inflammation

Carotenoids: promote heart health, enhance your immune system, and can be converted into vitamin A!

Phenolic acid: also anti-inflammatory, can prevent cellular damage!

 

THE FRUIT THAT CAN DO IT ALL…

Above all, dates are great because of their versatility. On their own, they pair well with almonds, nut butters, and cheeses. Additionally, their texture makes them a great binding ingredient, especially in cookies, bars, muffins, or these energy balls

Some more unexpected, creative ways to use dates would be in a fudge, pastry crust, apple butter, or even in salad dressing.

HERE AT VJC, WE TOO ARE IN AWE OF THE GREAT DATE.

You’ll find this power packed fruit in much of our menu, including:

  • many of our bottled drinks and nut milks

  • smoothies and smoothie bowls

    • including the mocha nana, pinky swear, curious George, mint chip, acai bowl, coconut butter bowl, and dragon fruit bowl.

  • baked goods, including the figgy bar and boss bar!

There is no shortage of dates here at VJC… we truly believe in their ability to add that caramel-like, yet still natural, sweetness to many of our recipes.

Definitely try adding dates into your next smoothie or baked good… or come taste one of ours for yourself… we can guarantee you’ll find the perfect date 😊 (sorry… just had to.)

Photo: Medical News Today

Jonathan Roten