Fruit Paste

Fruit Paste

Details

This paste makes for a great alternative to sugar. Dates, along with other dried fruits are packed with an impressive list of vitamins and minerals.
  • Serves: 1 1/2 cups
  • Active Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 91,154
  • Success Rating: 93% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |

Steps

Step 1: Making the Fruit Paste

• 1/2 cup dried fruit of choice
• 1 cup water (or as needed)
• 1 vanilla bean, optional

Method

If necessary, pit the fruit. Place the fruit in a small bowl and cover with the water. Transfer to the refrigerator for about 4 hours or until the fruit is completely rehydrated. Once reconstituted, the fruit can be used to sweeten recipes like smoothies, dressings, etc.

To make a more “paste-like” mix, soak the dried fruit for 1 to 2 hours or until quite soft. Strain and reserve the liquid. Transfer fruit to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. If adding the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the pod and add it to the blender as well. Also, note that vanilla extract could also be used, but the vanilla bean not only adds beautiful flavor, it also adds nice flecks of vanilla.

If needed, add the reserved liquid to adjust to the consistency you desire. If using the paste in baked recipes, use as little liquid as possible. If the paste is runny, it will add additional moisture to the recipe and negatively affect the finished product.

This mixture will keep for over a week, covered, and refrigerated. Alternatively, it can be frozen for several months. It will not freeze solid which facilitates scooping out exact amounts.

Note: For a different flavor note, add a pinch of sea salt or ground spice, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove or cardamom, along with a bit of fresh lemon juice.

72 Comments

  • Bonnie D
    Bonnie D
    I was in the ethnic grocery the other day looking for dates and came across a square package of date paste. Could I use that in a pinch to make the date squares? I made that recipe the other day and my family love them! I used unsweetened dessicated coconut which i keep in the freezer. Wonderful. Just wondering if that purchased paste would work if i cannot find good quality dates at the market.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The pre-packaged paste might just work, but I can't say for sure as I have never used it myself. Without seeing it or trying it myself, I am just not sure if the consistency would be the same. If buying the pre-packaged date paste, just be sure that there are no other added ingredients listed on the package. If not, then perhaps try making a half batch — or better yet, make a 1/2 batch with the package and a 1/2 batch with dates you pit yourself and compare the results. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Jim R
    Jim R
    I looked at the recipe for Date Paste. I never heard of it and am not at that lesson yet, How is it generally used - eg. in baking sweet things like cookines or cake? After you use the first cup of water, can you add another cup of water, mix it up a bit and start over again?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Date paste can really be used in most places that you would normally use regular sugar or other sweeteners — especially when it comes to cooking or baking with it. Try using it a topping on your oatmeal, in a smoothie, in your baking, in a dressing — really anywhere you need a little sweetness. Date paste is a good unprocessed raw alternative sweetener. And because dates contain fiber, they also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Dates are also happen to be a good source of iron, vitamin A & potassium. As for adding more water each time, I am not sure how this would work out. I generally just use it as is or I purée it and use it like that. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Jim R
    Jim R
    I can see some definite fun-filled experimenting with this. I cannot wait to try. I guess it really pays to go thru the Forums!
  • Renee R
    Renee R
    In Arizona they have date milk shakes. M'mmm Good! They use a date paste, so once blended I bet this would work great. I can hardly wait to try it.
  • Divina C
    Divina C
    Would it be ok to know where (country of origin) you got your dried mango and other tropical fruits? Did you dry them yourselves? It's ironic that we have abundant dried fruits for export usually mangoes but most of them contain preservatives..
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    I believe these were purchased from Whole Foods Market or a similar natural foods store. There are many preservative and no-sugar added varieties on the market - but they cost a bit more than those versions with a lot of added sugar or sulfur dioxide (a common preservative). You can always dehydrate your own! ~Cheers
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Unfortunately we did not have time to dry our own fruit for that particular shoot. We bought our mangoes, which were organic, at Whole Foods. To be honest, I am not sure of the country of origin, which is something that I do tend to look at when I am shopping. That said, the next time I go to WF's, I will check to see where they are from. I do know that they don't have any preservatives though—that is something I usually always look for, especially when it comes to dried fruits, because as you said, a lot of them come with added preservatives. Cheers!
  • Rosalie K
    Rosalie K
    In the video, you show draining the water from the dried fruit and adding just enough fresh water to blend. However, this is not outlined in the written instructions. Is there a reason not to use the soaking water? I would think if you are using high quality ingredients that the soaking water would only add a bit more flavour? Thanks!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Rosalie- By all means, if you prefer to use the soaking liquid you can certainly do so. Just remember to only use as much liquid needed to blend and make the paste smooth. ~Ken
  • Briet G
    Briet G
    How long does the date paste keep in the fridge?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Briet- It's good for about a week in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it and keep it for a few months. ~Ken
  • Loraine P
    Loraine P
    Is this where we use a dehydrator to dry the mango?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Loraine, Yes, if you are using fresh mangoes, then a dehydrator would be perfect to start the process of making fruit paste. Eric
  • Susan K
    Susan K
    It says to stir in the vanilla bean, which confuses me, are they referring to a whole vanilla bean chopped or an extract. I see it is optional, but still a bit confusing.
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Susan and thanks for your question. So we are referring to a fresh vanilla bean - so the thought is to scrap the bean into the mix and stir in. I hope that helps. Thanks so much for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Steve E
    Steve E
    Can I use fresh fruit instead of dried.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Yes, you can, Steve, but the result is more like jam. It will have a shorter shelf life due to the relatively higher moisture content and it may not be as sweet as using dried fruit due to the lack of concentration.
  • Linda  M
    Linda M
    Date Paste....how fabulous is this!!! I also made Mango Paste. Superb. Thank you all, Rouxbe Staff!!
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Wonderful Linda! Thanks so much for sharing and learning with Rouxbe! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Rebekah  G
    Rebekah G
    Hi, I live in the Middle East, we have dates, paste and syrup everywhere! Automatically I would use syrup, is thus okay if nothing else has been added to it?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Yes, Rebekah, that would be fine!
  • Rebekah  G
    Rebekah G
    Brilliant! Thank you.
  • Gloria B
    Gloria B
    how can I substitute all the vinegar and alcohol that we have to mix with the recipes? I don't feel good eating those foods, I felt sick, I have stomach ulcers!
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Gloria, for this fruit paste, you can soak the dry fruit in water or a fruit juice. No vinegar or alcohol need to to be used.
  • Jackie R
    Jackie R
    I live in AZ and I have never heard of your shake. Where have you seen them? Do you have the recipe?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Jackie, see the following recipe, https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Date-Shake
  • Jackie B
    Jackie B
    When making the fruit paste, why use dried fruit and then rehydrate? Why not just use the pitted fresh fruit?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Jackie, You can use fresh fruit. However, the concentrated flavor and sweetness of the dried fruit provides a really nice foundation of taste, flavor, and texture. When you add water, you have control over the amount that goes in.
  • Mims E
    Mims E
    can i use a vanilla extract instead if there is no available vanilla bean?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Yes, vanilla extract works well, too.
  • Ron B
    Ron B
    I am concerned about using dried fruit as so much of it has sulfa or sulfa-like compounds in it. I am highly allergic to that. Can your recommend a source for dried fruit that does not have sulfa? Thanks
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Ron, for unsulphured dried fruits, visit www.nuts.com, www.mygerbs.com, and do a search for sulphur-free dried fruits on Amazaon.
  • Patricia D
    Patricia D
    If there is a Trader Joe's near you, check out their Organic Turkish Apricots. No preservatives, just apricots.
  • Ellen P
    Ellen P
    I use the date paste in the Vegan Holiday Nog with cashews. I leave out the xantham gum and use as my coffee creamer. Yum.
  • Wong T
    Wong T
    can i use date paste to make cookies ? can i call it sugar free cookies? how can i descripe if i use date paste instead of sugar to make cookies in marketing promotion? tks
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    HI Wong. Yes, you can totally add date or other fruit paste in cookies and other baked goods as a sweetener. You will want to dial in your recipe as the paste adds moisture and density to the recipe. You can call them "date- sweetened" or "refined sugar free!" Lauren
  • Jahma L
    Jahma L
    It would be helpful if the total tome was updated to the accurate total time and did not say “5 minutes”. I looked at the total time and decided to leave it for the end of my mise en place setup. So now I have a mise en place with all the other ingredients sitting on the counter for a couple hours waiting while the dates soak. Just don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I made :)
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Thank you, Jahma. The recipe has been edited.
  • Lisa S
    Lisa S
    How do you measure a 1/2 cup of dates or other dried fruit? Do you use a dry or liquid measuring cup? Do you flatten or pack them in at all? I'm not sure if I'm using too much or too little. Thank you!
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Lisa! Great question. This recipe is a really forgiving and loose recipe. It is a little more about the technique than the ratio. My advice is to use a dry measuring cup and pack it full or better yet, practice eyeballing! Soak your dried fruit and then blend it with as little water as you can to get a smooth consistency, almost like apple butter. This is a good recipe to practice just 'going for it' and trusting your instincts. : ) Lauren
  • Lisa S
    Lisa S
    Thank you!
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    You are most welcome!
  • Therese G
    Therese G
    So if I use fresh Medjool dates, then I do not have to soak them?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Therese. Correct. You can blend them. I would likely add a little water to the blender to get a homogeneous texture for your date paste, but you won't need too much. Lauren
  • Carol M
    Carol M
    Can I use umeboshi plum paste as my fruit paste?
  • Deann H Rouxbe Staff
    Deann H
    Hi Carol. Substituting umeboshi plum paste will add sour, tangy, saltiness to whatever recipe you're making. If a recipe calls for fruit paste, the intention is to add concentrated sweetness and a bit of thickening consistency to the recipe. Using the plum paste as a substitute may significantly change the result, as it's made from pickled fresh plums—and it's not very sweet. if you're making a dressing recipe that calls for fruit paste, it will already contain vinegar, so adding more sourness and no sweetness probably wouldn't create the flavor balance needed. Fruit paste is easy to make using any dried fruits like apricots, dates, raisins, prunes, or mango.
  • Deb A
    Deb A
    A True beginner here. Which dried fruits work together to taste GREAT, I have NO idea.....Or do I just use dates, if so what sort of dates please.
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Deb. Starting with dates is a great idea. Medjool is a common variety but any dried dates that are pitted are going to work well. Another fun paste to try can be made with dried apricots. So cool that as a "true beginner" you are embarking on this life changing adventure. How inspiring. Lauren
  • Karen P
    Karen P
    If have a baking recipe that calls for 1 cup of sugar, how much fruit paste do I use to replace the sugar?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Karen: thanks for writing. To substitute a fruit paste for sugar, use the ratio of 1:1 for granulated sugar, coconut sugar, etc. The results may be slightly less sweet. Also, keep in mind that a more cake-like texture will be the end result if you are baking cookies. I use fruit paste in baking muffins and cookies, and everyone seems to enjoy them. Happy baking! -Char
  • Allison T
    Allison T
    I made a Dijon mustard recipe today for potatoes while doing my work. I made the apricot paste and it was a little bitter. I used the unsulfured dark organic dried apricots from Trader Joe’s. It didn’t affect the dressing because of the vinegar and other ingredients. Should I try different apricots Or is it always like that.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Allison: thanks for writing. Personally, I find dried apricots a tad more tart than dates, prunes, mango, etc. Dates really pack a nice sweet flavor that complements the vinegar well. You may want to try another dried fruit. And, actually, I love prunes, as they are perfectly sweet and textured. Hope this helps. Happy Cooking. -Char
  • Christine J
    Christine J
    Not being familiar with working with vanilla beans, you are to scrape the seeds, but then what are you using to make the little flecks of goodness? Am I using only the seeds, or only the pod or what?
  • Rodrigo F
    Rodrigo F
    Hi! Which other types of dried fruits can be used to make this paste? I've tried with dates and they work perfectly! But I want to try with another kind of fruit as well.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Rodrigo: Well, my personal favorites are dried figs, apricots, and mangoes. However, I have even used dried cherries, prunes and raisins. Decide which dried fruit you prefer, and make a new flavor of fruit paste to enjoy. Thanks for writing. Cheers, Char
  • Martin B
    Martin B
    Hi, can I use Medjool dates instead of rehydrating dried dates? I find medjool dates incredible sweet and I don't need the extra step of hydrating? Thank you Martin
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Martin: I make fruit paste frequently and find that rehydrating creates a smoother texture of the fruit paste. I use Medjool dates from Rancho Meladuco Date Farm, and even those, I rehydrate. Thanks for writing, Char
  • Rebekah W
    Rebekah W
    I bought some date syrup. Do you think that is the same thing as date paste?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Rebekah--Thanks for writing. While the flavor of silan is similar to date paste, date paste has texture to it, and will help your dish bind, like in a salad dressing. The silan will add flavor, but will change the consistency of what you are making, because it is a liquid. The silan dissolves easily. Hope this helps. Cheers. Char
  • Paola E
    Paola E
    Hi Rouxbe, this date paste sounds delicious. I cannot wait to try it out. However, a Rouxbe staff member mentioning that it helps to contain the sugar levels stable, due to the fiber. Are you certain about that? First of all, most of the fibers are diminished when blended. Second, dates have really high levels of Glykomisk Indeks, so to my knowledge, this would affect your sugar levels more than regular refined sugar. I look forward to hearing your comment
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello, Paola: thanks for writing. The glycemic index of dates falls into the lower category (on the scale with a 42) as do cherries, apples, etc. (watermelon is the highest fruit, by the way). Dates are also a good sources of anti-oxidants. Dates and their by-products (silan and date paste) are better alternatives than white, processed sugars, many of which are not vegan. As for the date paste, it is still sugar, and my suggestion would be to use it sparingly in recipes, or as a fruit spread. Even in the date paste, the polyphenols are intact, and although diluted, there remains a gram of fiber in a serving of date paste (2 T). Fiber, generally, has been reported to possibly lower blood sugar. Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit. Dates are very sweet and also have a subtle caramel-like taste. They make a great healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to the nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that they provide. Personally, while I enjoy sweet things, I will use date paste in moderation. Thank you, Paola, for your thoughtful question. Cheers, Char
  • Wendy C
    Wendy C
    I'm going to use this in place of store-bought jam. So excited!
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Wendy: think of the added flavor and fiber! It is, indeed, something to be excited about! Cheers, Char
  • Katherine  W
    Katherine W
    Why are the vanilla bean seeds removed for this recipe please?
  • Sandy S Rouxbe Staff
    Sandy S
    Hi Katherine, The seeds are scraped from the bean (pod) and used in the recipe. The bean (pod) is the fibrous, long, thin structure that contains the flavorful seeds, but is not edible itself. I hope that clears it up. Let us know if you have any further questions! Cheers, Sandy
  • Lian B
    Lian B
    For me, this recipe was not successful. I chose medjool dates as the fruit to make this paste. I pitted them, and soaked 1/2 c in water for less than an hour then drained them. Added to the blender along with the 1c of water. Processed till smooth...the outcome was hardly a "paste"...more like a thin syrup. The instructions did suggest to use less water when using the fruit paste for BAKING, which I wasn't. I was using it to make the mango chutney recipe, so I went with the 1c of water as per recipe. It was clearly too much. So I added another 1/4c of dates to the blender and processed again till smooth. Now I had a slightly thicker syrup (and no more dates). Not a "paste" by any stretch. So, when it came to making the mango recipe, I only added about 1/2 c of the "non-paste" rather than the full cup the recipe called for as a way to mitigate complete disaster and a waste of expensive ingredients. I also added additional mango to what the recipe called for, and then pureed part of the mix with an immersion blender as a way to get it to be thicker. End result is a mango chutney that is still quite runny and unlikely to stay in place when added say to a burger. As well, the chilly and lime flavours are too strong, and I attribute this to the fact that my fruit "non-paste" messed up the whole thing. I would love to make the chutney recipe again, and have printed the recipe for it and the fruit paste. I made notes to NOT use a cup of water when making the fruit paste regardless of whether I will use for baking or other. It might be helpful to other new students to make the instructions more clear for the fruit paste recipe as far as the water is concerned.
  • Patricia N
    Patricia N
    If using the Vanilla Extract, how much should we use?
  • Sandy S Rouxbe Staff
    Sandy S
    Hi Patricia, I would start with 1/8 teaspoon and add more as desired. Hope that helps out! Cheers, Sandy
  • Karen H
    Karen H
    If possible, can this recipe be updated to show that you should drain off the soaking water? I didn't realize I was supposed to and mine came out too thin and I have to start over. It would be nice if it were made clearer in the instructions. Thank you
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Karen, thank you for your feedback!

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.