Medjool dates are just one of many varieties of dates. Soft in texture and large in size, Medjool dates have an orange-yellowish flesh and a rich, caramel-like flavor. Medjool dates are available at grocery stores, but if you don’t have any at home, there are several other ingredients you can use instead.
So, what are the best Medjool date substitutes? The best substitute for Medjool dates is date syrup. Date syrup is a natural sweetener made by boiling and pureeing chopped dates. Other suitable substitutes for Medjool dates are Deglet Noor dates, dried raisins, dried apricots, prunes, dried cranberries, date paste, honey, and maple syrup.
This article tells you everything you need to know about the best substitutes for Medjool dates and how to use them in recipes.
What are Medjool Dates?
The Medjool date is a large and sweet type of date. Native to Marocco, Medjool dates thrive in warm climates and are also grown in the United States, Israel, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia.
Also known as the “fruit of kings”, Medjool dates have a chewy texture and a sweet, caramel-like flavor. Medjool dates are nutrient-dense and offer a good amount of fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and B vitamins.
Compared to Deglet Noor dates, another common date variety, Medjool dates contain higher levels of calcium.
Medjool dates can be enjoyed as a snack, and their natural sweetness makes them an excellent sugar substitute. Use Medjool dates to sweeten smoothies, shakes, and baked goods, or to add a depth of flavor to savory dishes like stews.
6 Best Medjool Dates Substitutes
Medjool dates are available at most supermarkets, but you might not have any at home. There are several other ingredients with a similar texture, sweetness, and flavor, that you can use instead of Medjool dates in recipes.
1. Date Syrup
Date syrup is a dark brown, thick, and sweet syrup made from dates, and used as a natural sweetener. It’s made by softening chopped Medjool dates or Deglet Noor dates in hot water, blending them, boiling, and reducing the mixture, and then straining out insoluble parts and pits.
Date syrup has a sweet, caramel-like flavor with a hint of vanilla and a thick and creamy consistency. Use date syrup to substitute Medjool dates when making sauces and baked goods.
2. Deglet Noor Dates
The Deglet Noor date has a similar flavor as the Medjool date and is a good alternative for Medjool dates in recipes. Deglet Noor dates have a sweet honey-like flavor and are smaller, and firmer than Medjool dates.
When using Deglet Noor dates as a substitute for Medjool dates, soak them in water for a few hours to soften them. Deglet Noor dates are commonly available at supermarkets and are often cheaper than Medjool dates.
3. Date Paste
Date paste is a natural sweetener and a suitable substitute for Medjool dates. It’s made by soaking pitted dates in boiling water for a few minutes and then blending them until they reach a thick, paste-like consistency.
Date paste is usually made using Medjool dates, but any other date variety will work too. Use date paste as a substitute for Medjool dates when making smoothies, salad dressings, marinades, or baked goods.
Raisins are dried grapes and are eaten raw or used in baking and cooking. Dried raisins are sweet and have a soft and chewy texture. Although all raisins are sweet they taste differently depending on the type of grapes used to make them.
Substitute raisins for Medjool dates when making smoothies, salads, or baked goods.
5. Dried Figs
Dried figs and Medjool dates offer similar nutritional benefits and can be used interchangeably in recipes. Although not as sweet as Medjool dates, dried figs are a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Dried figs are chewy and have a crunchier texture than Medjool dates and make a healthy snack. Use dried figs as a substitute for Medjool dates in smoothies, salads, oatmeal, and baked goods.
Prunes are dried plums and are a good substitute for Medjool dates in recipes. Dried prunes can have a variety of flavors depending on the type of plum used to make them, and have a chewy texture.
Prunes are typically sweet, but not as sweet as Medjool dates. Use prunes as a substitute for Medjool dates in baked goods and smoothies, or if you want to cut down your sugar intake.
Are Medjool Dates the same as Dried Dates?
No, Medjool dates aren’t the same as dried dates. Medjool dates are harvested, cleaned, sorted, and packaged fresh. Medjool dates aren’t processed or dried in any way.
On the other hand, dried dates are lightly heated for many hours to remove their moisture and prevent spoilage. Dried dates can be sun-dried, or the moisture is removed in a dehydrator or oven.
Can I use Pitted Dates instead of Medjool?
Yes, you can use pitted dates instead of Medool dates in recipes. Pitted dates and Medjool dates have a similar nutritional value and are both great sources of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B3.
Pitted dates are also cheaper than Medjool dates and are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly healthy snack.
The Medjool date is a popular date variety used in many cooking or baking recipes, or as a healthy snack. Naturally sweet and full of flavor, Medjool dates are full of valuable nutrients and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
If you don’t have any Medjool dates at home, there are several other ingredients you can use instead in recipes. Date syrup is usually made from Medjool dates and is the best substitute for Medjool dates in recipes.
Other suitable substitutes for Medjool dates include date paste, Daglet Noor dates, raisins, prunes, dried apricots, dried figs, honey, maple syrup, dried cranberries, and raisin paste.