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date syrup benefits + Homemade date syrup recipe

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Dates and their products are a great substitute for sugar and other harmful sweeteners. People who like eating desserts and sweets but do not want to use sugar can easily replace it by date syrup in the recipe. In addition to a sweet and pleasant taste, date syrup has all the benefits of dates. As archeological documents show, date syrup is one of the oldest sweeteners. According to cuneiform inscriptions from the Mesopotamian civilization, date syrup was used as the main sweetener at that time.

What is date syrup?
Date syrup, also known as date honey, is dark brown caramel syrup that has the unique taste of date fruit and is prepared from a combination of water and dates. It is rich in potassium, magnesium and antioxidants and is one of the most nutritious sweeteners. This is why it is used in the cuisine of the North African and the Middle Eastern people for a variety of purposes, ranging from flavoring chicken to cooking various desserts.
Date syrup contains glucose and fructose, which are easily absorbed through the mouth. For this reason, it is suitable for people suffering from hypoglycemia and those who have pancreatic problems or whose body cannot tolerate sucrose.
Thanks to the mentioned properties and high amounts of antioxidants, it has recently become one of the most popular sugar substitutes.
The important point about this product is that it should not be regarded as a cure for diseases. This valuable substance plays an important role in strengthening the health and immunity of the body, but it cannot be considered a medicine.

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What is the difference between fruit sugar and sugar?
Before we discuss the other benefits of date syrup, it is important to know why fruit sugar is a good substitute for sugar and other sweeteners.
Fruits naturally contain sugar. The important question that arises here is whether white sugars are the same as fruit sugars? The answer to this question is definitely "no". There are two main differences between white sugars and fruit sugars.
First: White sugars are prepared from sugarcane and beet and need high processing in order to reach the consumption point, which makes them different from their original nature. However, fruits follow a natural process to become sweet and ready to eat.
Second: Except for supplying an amount of calories needed by the body, white sugars mostly have no nutritional value. However, fruits contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals needed by the body.


What are the benefits of date syrup?
Date syrup has a high nutritional value. Although it may lose some of its benefits in its preparation process, it is still more nutritive than honey and maple syrup, which are considered to be the most popular natural sweeteners. Here are some of the benefits of this product:
 
Rich source of potassium:
Potassium plays an important role for health and strengthens the function of vital organs of the body. It is as important as iron and calcium for the body, with the difference that the body is not able to produce potassium and must supply it through the consumption of foods containing it. Since dates and their by-products contain high amounts of potassium, it is recommended to include some of them in the daily diet.
Antibacterial compounds:
Research has shown that date syrup contains chemical compounds which have antibacterial properties. Phenolic compounds, which are an important factor in antibacterial properties, are found in dates and other fruits from which syrups can be produced, such as grapes. The antibacterial effect of date syrup is even greater than that of Manuka honey, which is known for its antibacterial and wound healing properties.
Daily energy supply:
Date syrup is rich in calories and consumption of even one tablespoon of it with breakfast will supply the energy your body needs throughout the day. Athletes are recommended to consume dates and their by-products, especially date syrup. Their consumption is very common among Muslims as they supply the energy needed by the body during the day and are recommended to be consumed in the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan.
High fiber:
Date syrup, like its fruit, contains high amounts of fiber. This fiber has a laxative effect, helps with regular bowel movements, and reduces constipation. Natural date syrup is very good for the digestive system and helps it to function better. Date syrup is very easy to digest for people who cannot eat high-fiber fruits.
Hemorrhoids refer to a complication that affects pregnant women due to insufficient fiber intake. Consumption of dates and their by-products will help prevent hemorrhoids during this period.
Containing vitamins and minerals needed by the body:
Date syrup is a rich source of iron and folic acid and helps treat anemia. Folate content in dates is a blood component and its use is recommended for pregnant women (Of course, they should consult a doctor for the required dose).
Date syrup contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and potassium as well as B vitamins. Therefore, it is useful for strengthening the nerves and bones, and relieving fatigue and weakness.
Cholesterol free:
Date fruit is cholesterol-free. No additives or oils are used in the preparation of date syrup; therefore, it is cholesterol-free as well, and people suffering from heart disease and high cholesterol can easily use this useful and valuable food in their diet.
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Effective in skin health:
Dates are an excellent source of vitamins C and D, both of which help maintain the skin's elasticity and keep it smooth. Date syrup contains all the properties of date fruit, and thanks to its anti-aging properties, it prevents the accumulation of melanin and is effective in increasing skin health. Since dates contain high levels of niacin, their consumption as well as the consumption of their by-products can help treat some skin infections.
Is date syrup harmful for people with diabetes?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, date syrup contains the natural sugars of glucose and fructose, and its consumption will not raise blood sugar levels as do artificial and processed sugars. Despite the low GI in dates, we should keep in mind that its excessive consumption will have a negative effect on blood sugar levels.

Is date syrup consumption effective in weight loss?
Dates contain large amounts of fiber and since no additives are used in the production of date syrup, it supplies the fiber needed by the body and prolongs the satiety feeling by delaying the digestion process. Dates contain large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and play an important role in reducing inflammation. Inflammation is directly linked to obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes, and eating unhealthy foods and sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of obesity. In addition, dates and their by-products are a rich source of protein and increase the feeling of satiety because proteins are slow to digest. Accordingly, the consumption of dates and their by-products such as date syrup will prevent the risk of weight gain.


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Homemade date syrup recipe
Date syrup is much easier to prepare than other natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup. Honey is a sweetener produced by bees, and maple syrup is made by boiling maple resin. Therefore, it is very difficult or even impossible to prepare them at home.
You can easily make date syrup at home using kebkab dates and the following method:
Kebkab dates: 500 grams
Water: 1 liter
 
Slice the date into thin strips (you can also use date chips) and soak them in boiling water for 20 minutes so that they soften and lose impurities.
Pour 1 liter of water into a large pot and let it boil. Then pour the soaked dates into it and let it boil for 1 to 2 hours. (If you have enough time, it is better to do this twice.)
After the dates are cooked and the excess water evaporates, let them cool.
Put a strainer on a large bowl. Pour the dates into it and press gently using a spoon until the syrup comes out. Be careful that the flesh and skin of the date do not pass the strainer (Usually about 2 cups of syrup is obtained from 500 grams of dates.)
 
Pour the obtained syrup into a pan and let it boil for 45 to 60 minutes on low heat and its excess water evaporates (Syrup volume should be halved).
To test its concentration, put a spoon in it. If the syrup covers the back of the spoon, you can turn off the oven (Note that the syrup thickens after cooling).
If you find it thin after the syrup has cooled, you can put it back on the oven. At this stage, be careful not to burn the syrup.
 
Conclusion
The consumption of date syrup is the best alternative for people who like eating sweet foods and desserts. It is tasty, very nutritious and healthy, and can be easily used in the preparation of various foods. If you do not have the opportunity to prepare it at home, you can easily get this product from food stores. When buying this product, make sure that no sugar, oil or additives are used in it during its production.

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