There are a number of recipes that call for Medjool dates. They are some of the sweetest and most luxurious date varieties. When you don’t have Medjool dates on hand, you can substitute other dried fruits and sweeteners. The best Medjool date substitutes include date syrup, raisins, prunes, date paste, dried apricots and figs, honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Read on to find out what the best Medjool date substitutes are, why they work, and when they should be used.
What Are Medjool Dates?
There are many varieties of medjool dates that come from Morocco, and they are grown in many regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. Medjool dates are stone fruits with a single pit surrounded by a juicy, meaty flesh. Due to their larger size, Medjool dates are often referred to as the king of dates.
Medjool dates are also known for their intense, caramel-like flavor, which makes them stand out among other dates. As the dates sit in the package, they become wrinkly which is a naturally occurring process. Medjool dates are not intentionally dried – they are harvested and packed.
As they dry, Medjool dates become sweeter and more delicious! They are also very nutritious. In addition to being rich in vitamin B and minerals, such as copper, magnesium, and potassium, Medjool dates also provide insoluble fiber that aids digestion.
You should limit yourself to three to six Medjool dates a day if you are trying to lose weight. Medjool dates are quite high in calories and carbs. In baking recipes, salad dressings, sauces, smoothies, and dressings for salads, medjool dates can be blended into a smooth paste.
We enjoy stuffed Medjool dates with peanut butter and nuts to make delicious energy balls. They also make a great appetizer when stuffed with soft cheese and prosciutto.
Substituting Medjool Dates
In addition to Medjool dates, there are several other foods that can be substituted for Medjool dates. Medjool date substitutes should be selected based on the recipe you’ll use them in as well as their overall flavor, texture, and nutritional value.
Best Medjool Date Substitutes
Medjool dates have a unique caramel-like flavor that is complemented by hints of wild honey. It is hard to find a substitute for Medjool dates that matches the exact same taste. When Medjool dates aren’t available or you’d like to use something else instead, here are some Medjool date alternatives.
1. Date Syrup
Date syrup is a very sweet syrup made from chopped dates. It is made by boiling chopped dates and blending them into a puree, which is strained to extract liquid. The liquid is then boiled until honey-like in consistency. You can skip the hard work and buy a bottle of date syrup instead! Date syrup goes great with toast, pancakes, ice cream, and savory dishes.
In addition to cakes and cupcakes, you can also use date syrup in sauces, salad dressings, and smoothies. The best substitute for these dates will be date syrup made from Medjool dates as the flavor will be identical to that of the fruit, but any date syrup will do.
Unlike dates, raisins are dried grapes that are incredibly sweet, soft, and juicy. Although raisins tend to taste sweet, they may have different flavors depending on the grape variety. Raisins are not as sweet as dates, so if you find Medjool dates too sweet, raisins are perfect for you.
In baking recipes or salads, use dark raisins instead of chopped dates if you are using raisins instead of chopped dates. Instead of Medjool dates, you can use raisin paste.
It makes more sense to use prunes instead of plums as Medjool dates are wrinkly and have slightly dried-up skin. A prune is also sweeter than a plum, but much less sweet than a date.
Similarly, prunes have pits and are chewier than plump Medjool dates. Therefore, prunes can be substituted for Medjool dates in baking recipes and smoothies. If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake, snack on prunes instead of Medjool dates since prunes have less sugar than dates.
4. Dried Figs
Use dried figs instead of Medjool dates if you don’t have Medjool dates at home. As an alternative to Medjool dates, dried figs can be eaten as a snack, used in baking recipes, smoothies, and salads, and even added to oatmeal.
They both contain magnesium, potassium, and fiber, but dried figs contain less sugar and are less sweet than Medjool dates. Dates and dried figs have slightly different textures as well. Figs have a chewier texture and are slightly crunchy due to the many seeds inside.
Since Medjool dates are often described as having notes of wild honey, honey can be substituted for Medjool dates in certain recipes. Honey can be used in various baking recipes instead of dates. Honey can also be used to make salad dressings and sauces. Honey can also be added to smoothies to give them a mild floral flavor.
When trying to lose weight, we don’t recommend substituting dates for honey. Honey has a higher glycemic index than dates, which means that it provides short bursts of energy. It also contains no fiber, unlike dates. To substitute dates with something sweet and flavorful, try honey! However, honey doesn’t offer much nutritional value when compared to dates.
6. Date Paste
You can substitute Medjool dates with date paste made from any type of date. The paste can be used in smoothies, salad dressings, marinades, and baking recipes. You can even spread it on toast if you want a sweet breakfast.
Making date paste is easy – simply soak dates in boiling water for a few minutes, remove the pits, and blend them with some water to make a smooth paste. Despite Medjool dates lasting a few months in the fridge, they will lose their moisture – having date paste on hand is certainly a good idea.
7. Dried Apricots
You can use dried apricots in many recipes instead of dates, even though they aren’t as sweet as Medjool dates. Dates and dried apricots are both excellent ingredients for sweet and savory recipes, especially salads and chicken dishes.
Dried apricots are widely used in baking and in the preparation of various desserts. They can be used in smoothies and oatmeal. Typically, dried apricots have their pits removed before drying, but whole-dried apricots still contain their pits.
8. Maple Syrup
The sweetness and caramel flavor of pure maple syrup make it a good substitute for Medjool dates in certain recipes. Because maple syrup is a liquid and Medjool dates are not, you can only use maple syrup for such tasks as sauces and salad dressings, as well as for sweetening baked goods and smoothies.
9. Brown Sugar
Use brown sugar instead of Medjool dates if you don’t mind using sugar in your recipes. Its texture is very different from Medjool dates, but it is very versatile and can be used for a variety of recipes. Instead of dates, brown sugar has caramel and toffee undertones.
The consistency of date paste is creamy, while brown sugar simply dissolves in liquids. You can use brown sugar to sweeten smoothies. You can also use brown sugar to sweeten salad dressings and sauces. It may not work well in recipes that require chopping dates. Brown sugar can be used to replace Medjool date paste in baking recipes.