Dates are approved on the whole 30 to use as a sweetener in sauces…but more on that in a second. Let’s talk sugar, sweetheart.
Sugar and additive sweeteners are basically food crack – they are magically and delightfully delicious and addictive and the more you consume, the more your body craves it, creating a vicious three-eyed-man-eating-sugar-monster cycle (…terrifying I know!) Artificial sweeteners (you know, the “calorie-free” and therefore “much more healthy” alternative to cane sugar) are even more devastating to your system because they act to overstimulate your system in ways not normally found in nature (example: Splenda is about 600 times sweeter than regular cane sugar…Last time I checked, Mother Nature did NOT intend for us to consume something like THAT). As your body becomes bombarded with this uber-sweetness, it becomes overstimulated over time and your sense of taste for sweet things becomes muted, which makes it more difficult to satisfy your crack-addicted sugar craving and things begin to spiral out of control. You gorge yourself on a batch of triple chocolate cupcakes. You call your mom crying. You channel Office Space and take a baseball bat to your bathroom scale, now your worst enemy. You become an insomniac with a collection of rare ceramic hobbits from the late-night shopping channels…you know things begin to get weird. Obviously, this is an unhealthy response. If you read “It Starts with Food” they go into depth on the body’s reaction to this sugar-spun spiral and all of the science behind it in a way that makes beautiful sense.
The Whole 30 forbids uses of any kind of additive sweeteners (cane sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup, molasses, and of course the artificial sweeteners) so you can slay your sugar monster WITH THE EXCEPTION of fruit juice and dates as supplements in sauces (NOT to bake with…this is another no-no on the Whole 30). The Powers-That-Be (Melissa and Dallas) even recommended compliant bacon-wrapped-almond-stuffed dates as a fancy pants appy to serve when you are on the Whole 30 (pinky-out kind of stuff, let me tell you!)
So we have at last come to the point of this rambling sugar-coated topic. Even though we have finished our Whole 30, we are still trying to roughly follow the guidelines (though obviously not to the exact word). After being absolutely disgusted by the amount of added sugar and sweeteners found in the supermarket (Who the hell puts sugar in cold cuts?!? *throws arms up in disgust*) we want nothing to do with the sugar addicted sheeple (sheeple = sheep people. Noun. One that aimlessly follows the crowd). However, with that being said, sometimes you do need a smidgen of sweetness in some home made sauces otherwise they end up tasting…weird (but not as weird as someone who has a rare collection of ceramic hobbits). Insert date paste. Again: dates are approved on the whole 30 and I don’t plan on making cookies any time soon with this stuff. Here we go…
– 1 cup of medjool dates (pitted)
– 1/3 cup of water
– 1 tsp vanilla
– Pinch of salt
Recipe: Soften dates in warm water or in the microwave for a few seconds. Throw the dates and water in a food processor and pulse until smooth (about 3-5 minutes). Add vanilla and salt and blend for another minute. Transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated…voila! Date paste!
More on what to do with it later this week!
San aka #DomesticGoddess