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: 63,446
  • Success Rating: 94% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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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. Transfer to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. If adding the vanilla bean, remove the seeds from the bean 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 water a bit of water to create the consistency you need. If using the paste in baked recipes, use as little water as possible. If the paste is runny, it will add additional moisture to the recipe and impact negatively on 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 ground spice, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or sea salt along with a bit of fresh lemon juice.

52 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
    Rosalie
    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

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