What Is Date Sugar And How Do You Use It?

Regardless of what you eat, the benefits of eating in moderation have long been touted by nutritionists (via NDTV). From ooey-gooey cheese pizza to a delicious fresh salad, moderation has always been seen as a key to success. U.S. News & World Report states that eating varied and moderately-portioned meals can aid folks with overall weight loss and health. Still, other researchers claim moderation is not the only component of a balanced diet and that food choice comes into play, per Harvard School of Public Health

One common ingredient that many nutritionists urge mindfulness about is sugar. According to Healthline, sugar can be found in the most unexpected of places — like marinara sauce and peanut butter — and is one of the leading causes of obesity and chronic diseases. For this reason, many have looked at sugar substitutes like coconut sugar, stevia, monk fruit sweetener, and date sugar as a way to replace the classic sweetener. Date sugar, which is not to be confused with date palm sugar, is derived from dates, but is it really any "healthier" than regular sugar?

Date sugar is a great substitute for brown sugar

According to Precision Nutrition, dates can be turned into either date sugar or date syrup, both of which are relatively unprocessed. To create date sugar, the dates are dried and then ground into a light brown powder that doubles as granulated sugar. The Kitchn notes that because the date is used whole (sans the pit), there is a presence of fibrous grit that can be found in date sugar that doesn't quite dissolve when used in baking. For this reason, Today suggests pouring boiling water on the date sugar to help break it down.

The reason that date sugar is seen as healthier than cane sugars is that it contains the same vitamins, folic acid, minerals, and fiber that's found in dates. But My Recipes notes that the amount of vitamins and minerals is not enough for it to be truly considered healthy, as it has more sugar than anything else. Precision Nutrition notes that one teaspoon of date sugar holds about three grams of sugar, and per Today, it has two-thirds of the calories of white sugar. Regardless, date sugar works well as a sweetener and can be used as a one-to-one replacement in a recipe. 

This sugar has a close resemblance to brown sugar, and its caramel-like notes make it a great swap. Date sugar can be used to make cakes, dressings, and even works as a rub for pork and chicken. Just expect an uneven texture and a butterscotch flavor.