Have you ever wanted to enjoy the taste of Medjool dates but could not source it? You’re not alone.
But thankfully, there are some great alternatives available.
In this article, we will explore the five best substitutes for Medjool dates that you can use for your recipes.
What’s Medjool Date?
Medjool dates are a type of fruit grown in the Middle East region, specifically in Morocco, Tunisia, Syria and Israel.
The dates are the fleshy, sweet part of a date palm tree.
They are considered to be one of the best varieties of dates due to its sweet taste and high vitamin content.
Medjool dates also contain a fair amount of fiber and micronutrients that can help with indigestion and regulate blood sugar levels.
Medjool dates can be used as an ingredient in sweet treats such as desserts, energy balls or smoothies.
This fruit is also great in savory dishes such as tagines or salads because it adds a delicious sweetness to them.
The skin is usually eaten along with the flesh but it can be removed before consumption if you prefer.
The seeds inside should not be consumed however, as they can cause stomach discomfort if ingested.
In terms of storage, Medjool dates can easily last for up to 6 months when kept refrigerated at temperatures below 40°F (4°C).
If stored well they will remain fresh for much longer than that.
If you would like to use them quickly though, simply place them at room temperature and they should last for up to two weeks before needing refrigeration again or consumption.
5 Best Medjool Dates Substitutes to Consider
Medjool dates are a type of sweet, slightly caramelized date with a fleshy texture and mild flavor that make it a popular ingredient in both snacks and recipes.
Unfortunately, they can also be quite expensive, so it’s helpful to know which substitutes could work in your favorite dishes.
Here are five of the best Medjool date alternatives you should consider if you’re looking for something similar.
1 – Date Syrup
Date syrup is a versatile and healthy alternative to sweeteners like corn syrup or honey.
It’s made by boiling Medjool dates in water and then straining the solids from the liquid result.
The resulting syrup is rich, dark, and extremely sweet.
Date syrup can be used as a replacement for honey or maple syrup in baking recipes, on pancakes and waffles, as well as to sweeten yogurt or oatmeal.
It’s especially useful for those who are trying to cut down on refined sugars since it’s all natural and minimally processed.
Date syrup also has minerals like magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium that are essential for optimum health.
2 – Raisins
Raisins are the classic failsafe option for replacing Medjool dates in recipes.
Although raisins are smaller and contain more sugar than their fresh counterparts, they’re much easier to keep on hand as they have a longer shelf life.
As with all dried fruits, raisins hold their shape better when used in baking, helping to create cleaner layers or edges.
Raisins can also easily be softened by soaking in hot water or adding them directly to your dish — like a bowl of warm oats — where the natural steam will soften them.
Additionally, as intended replacements for Medjool dates, some brands of golden raisins can work very well in recipes that call for a sweeter taste.
3 – Dried Apricots
Dried apricots are a great replacement for Medjool dates in many recipes.
They have a soft, chewy texture, similar to Medjool dates and are full of flavor.
Dried apricots can be used in rolls, chutneys, stews and other recipes just like Medjool dates.
When using dried apricots in recipes requiring chopped dates, make sure to soak them for several hours or overnight before chopping.
This will make them easier to chop and help soften their texture.
Dried apricots are also a good source of Vitamin A and Calcium, making them a beneficial addition to your diet in addition to adding flavor.
4 – Date Paste
Date paste is composed of dates that have been pitted, ground, and blended into a smooth paste.
Dates are a naturally sweet fruit and they are very nutritious, containing dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
This makes date paste an excellent choice for baking or as a natural sweetener in beverages or other recipes.
Simply add the desired amount of boiling water to the paste in order to achieve a sticky consistency, similar to honey or molasses.
Date paste is generally easier to work with than blocks of chopped dates since it has more uniform consistency.
Date paste can be stored for up to 6 months in the refrigerator or even longer if frozen.
5 – Prunes
Prunes are one of the most popular substitutions for Medjool dates in baking, and for good reason.
They have a rich, sweet taste, and when cooked they take on a soft, gooey texture that is similar to the texture of a Medjool date.
Prunes are also nutrient-rich: they are high in fiber, vitamin A and potassium.
To use prunes as a substitute for Medjool dates, follow the same process as using dried dates: soak them in hot water for 30 minutes if need be to soften them before using.
For recipes that require filling with cream or chocolate before baking or cooking, take care with this substitution; prunes can leak liquid more easily than dates due to their higher moisture content.
In conclusion, Medjool dates are a lovely addition to recipes of all kinds.
However, due to their high cost, some people may prefer to substitute them with other options.
Thankfully, there are plenty of date varieties that can deliver a sweet flavor and soft texture at a much lower cost.
Each of these options is an excellent alternative when you need a sweet fix without breaking the bank.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!