The Beginner’s Guide to Date Sugar

Along with coconut sugar, date sugar is often thought of as a “healthy sugar.” While there’s nothing magical about these alternative sweeteners, date sugar does have a lot of benefits that come from it being one of the few whole food sweeteners on the market. These include a lower glycemic index, higher levels of vitamins and trace minerals, and more. Plus, date sugar is a much more environmentally sustainable option when compared to table sugar.

We dive into all of this in more detail below, and even share some simple ways you can start swapping out table sugar for date sugar in your own daily life. 

date fruit

How is Date Sugar Made? Sustainability & Sourcing

Date sugar is one of the most unique sugars because it’s made from the entire fruit of the date, meaning date sugar itself is actually a whole food. To make date sugar, the dates are first dehydrated and then ground down to granules that resemble sugar. The process is extremely clean and simple, and requires no chemicals or additives.

Date sugar is also a highly sustainble sweetener, as date production causes no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, or forests. However, this is assuming synthetic pesticides aren’t used (which is why you should go for organic date sugar). This is a refreshing contrast from sugarcane production, which is widely regarded as unsustainable given its heavy use of water and agro-chemicals.

Date Sugar vs Cane Sugar

So how does date sugar stack up against cane sugar nutritionally?  It turns out that date sugar and cane sugar have the same amount of carbs and calories (about 15 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate per teaspoon). However, since date sugar is made from whole dates, it contains all the trace nutrients found in dates. This includes potassium, calcium, antioxidants, and more. It even has some fiber content. 

Since date sugar is so minimally processed, it should come as no surprise that it also has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. This means date sugar produces a lower and slower rise in blood sugar. This may sound like a miniscule benefit, but low GI foods actually have several advantages, especially for weight loss. Eating foods with a lower glycemic allows you to absorb food more slowly, stay full for longer, and therefore eat less. 

In contrast, refined sugar is a very high glycemic index food, which means it gives you a quick burst of energy and a fast rise in blood sugar. But you’ll quickly feel pretty tired afterward and even start getting hungry again. This is the notorious “sugar rush and crash.” Enjoying a whole food sweetener like date sugar helps avoid this phenomon and keeps you more nourished and balancced throughout the day.

How to Substitue Date Sugar for White Sugar

Date sugar is an easy sugar substitute, as it can replace white sugar cup for cup.  This means that for every one cup of white sugar, you’d simply use one cup of date sugar instead. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

The only drawback to be aware of is that, because of its trace fiber content, date sugar doesn’t fully dissolve in water. So it’s not the kind of sugar you’d want to add to a cup of tea or coffee. Where date sugar really shines is in replacing brown sugar in recipes, such as banana bread or cookies. It’s also great sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, or fruit.

However, there is a simple work-around if you want to add the whole food sweetness of dates slightly more versatile: date syrup. Date syrup looks a bit like honey, and makes a great alternative to syrups, as it has delicious natural hints of caramel and vanilla. Date syrup is great in coffee, or served over pancakes, desserts, and ice creams. 

By the way, you can save on date sugar and date syrup by downloading our Sweet Life eBook, where we have special discount codes for our favorite date products from D’vash Organics, Date Lady, and Joolies.

date fruit

Bottom Line

While no sugar is perfect, date sugar beats out refined sugar in a number of ways. It’s more sustainable, nutritious, and can provide us with more sustained energy throughout the day thanks to its lower glycemic index. That’s why dates are a key ingredient we use to naturally sweeten our delicious homemade-style cookies.

You can learn more about dates, sugar, and other alternative sweeteners in our free guide on how to give your pantry a total sugar makeover. Plus, there’s some “sweet” discounts in there too! You can download your guide here.

sinckerdoodles made with dates

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