Dates are a wonderfully nutritious natural alternative to sugar. Dates are a great source of soluble fibre and are high in calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, sulfur, vitamins B6, A, and K. They are effective in treating constipation, and help with digestion, bone and heart health, anemia, allergies, and can be used to improve energy levels. Date paste is an easy way to utilise dates as a sweetener in cooking, or can be used as a delicious spread on its own!

20 pitted dates
3 cups filtered warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla powder

1. Place dates in a bowl and cover with 3 cups of filtered warm water to soak for around 6 hours (or overnight)
2. Once soaked, dates should be soft and full of moisture. Drain most of the water from dates, reserving about 4-5 tablespoons. Place the dates and water into a food processor or blender with the vanilla powder and blend on high speed until a creamy paste is formed (you may need to scrape the sides down as you go)
3. Store paste in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week