If you're on a low carb, Ketogenic or sugar-free diet and you find yourself missing the versatility and/ or texture of dates (but you don't miss the high amounts of sugar), then I've got the best solution for you!!! Just ferment them! I've been fermenting dates for a few years now as adding beneficial bacteria to them in the way of coconut yoghurt or coconut kefir removes all the sugar in them. How you ask? The good bacteria in the cultures feed on all the sugars and removes them, leaving a sugar-free version + it'll be enhanced because it's now rich in probiotics, enzymes, bio-available nutrients and minerals + so it's much gentler on your gut. You can read more about fermentation in my blog here.
- Organic dates (I recommend this brand)
- Coconut water kefir to cover
- I like to add a used/ leftover vanilla bean pod or two to the liquid while it's fermenting to give it a vanilla flavour (optional)
1. Add the dates to a clean 2L glass jar.
2. Pour just enough coconut water kefir over the top of the dates so they're just covered. Make sure you leave plenty of room to allow for expansion and gas build up.
3. Close the lid and place them onto a shelf in your pantry, or in your kitchen somewhere. Allow the dates to ferment for 24-48 hours (depending on how much sugar you want to remove). Please note in winter they may need slightly longer and in Summer they may ferment quicker, so always taste along the way so you know when they are ready. The longer the dates ferment, the more sugar is removed.
4. Store them as they are (in the liquid) in the fridge and add them to smoothies, smoothy bowls and ice-cream as a yummy thickener, or blend or mix them into coconut yoghurt.
You can place the fermented dates that are in the liquid in the fridge 'as is'.
OR you can dehydrate the fermented dates in the oven for an hour or so. Once they're dried (or back to a similar texture/ moist-ness to what they were original), store them in an airtight container in the fridge, you can then use them in bliss balls or slices (or for recipes where you don't want extra liquid). They should look similar to the dates in the little white bowl on the left-hand side pictured below.