C. Logan

Confused about date syrup?

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I have a serious question.

Why is date syrup ok? I understand that the Whole30 gods have deemed it acceptable for marinades and sauces, but why is it different than honey, or agave nectar?

I seriously don't understand and I'm legitimately asking.

I attempted to Google this question and stumbled upon this gem...

http://www.stirringstew.com/date-syrup-date-puree/

Linking to this "Whole30" apple crisp...

http://www.stirringstew.com/whole30-apple-crisp/

Found this in the forumsFound this in a forum:

http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/21412-date-syrup/

But then recently see a post on the Whole30 IG featuring date syrup.

Thanks for helping, just trying to wrap my head around this. :)

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I would go with what's here in the forum and say date syrup is not okay. I'm going to post for the other mods and hope we can get a definitive answer from someone in charge, since it was on the ig feed, but for now, leave it out of your whole30 for best results.

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Date syrup is not compliant, nor is any fruit crisp, regardless if all the ingredients are compliant. Recreating any dessert type of food is against the rules. It is SWYPO.

Unfortunately, there have been a couple of misunderstandings on the IG feed when posters aren't quite as Whole30 savvy as they should be. Good catch!

EDITED TO ADD: Well, hold the phone. I just looked up the ingredients and this product appears to be just dates. Which would be ok to use in a savory recipe. The "syrup" in the name is definitely confusing. But if you use this in a meat recipe, it should be fine.

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Let me elaborate.. a syrup made from dates is not acceptable during a Whole30 and a crappy idea at any time because sweetening your food with such a product erodes health. It does not make anything better. Making a puree with dates in order to sweeten your food is maybe 10 percent more acceptable than using a date syrup. You know where 10 percent better leaves you? Ninety percent away from where you belong if you want to be healthy. :)

 

The person behind the dessert recipes thinks eating a frozen date helped her during her Whole30. This is not true. Feeding a sugar craving keeps the craving healthy and strong. The Whole30 approach to sugar cravings is to starve them unmercifully until they die. There is no room to negotiate with a sugar craving. They are cunning and powerful. Trying to placate a craving with just a little something has ended many Whole30s prematurely. Don't listen to the soft crowd. Listen to the old timers. Go cold turkey regarding sweetness. 

 

Let me explain where it really is okay to use something to sweeten your food... when you are making pickles. Here is a good recipe for making quick, refrigerator pickles... Submerge your sliced cucumbers in a mixture of half apple cider vinegar and half apple juice plus spices like salt, garlic, peppercorns, etc and let soak for 12-24 hours. Making pickles is an acceptable time to use a sweetener during a Whole30. Seriously. 

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Sorry to post on an old thread but I read this thread and then the one about the Tessemae's ketchup with date purée, I just want to make sure I'm understanding this properly:

Date sap, date nectar and date paste/purée are not okay if they're being used as a sweetener?

Date sap, date nectar and date paste/purée (assuming that dates are the only ingredient) are okay if being added to a savory dish in a small amount?

Or is just the purée/paste acceptable?

So a drink sweetened with date nectar wouldn't be compliant?

But if I wanted to cut the acidity in a sauce I can do that? Or use it as a substitute for sugar in a savory recipe to make it compliant? I've been using 100% apple juice but sometimes I feel like I'm adding too much juice to try to get the same amount of sweetness as what a tsp of sugar would do. It's a lot more added liquid versus a date product where a little could go a long way I assume. 

Or based on Tom's response above would they all be non compliant? 

Honestly I can live without ketchup but one of my favorite recipes is a cucumber chili salad made with rice vinegar and sugar. I've tried just not adding sweetener but that's pretty mouth puckering and adding apple juice doesn't cut it if I only use a little. The date paste seems like it would add an odd texture but I haven't tried it. Anyways, I saw the Tessemae thread and wondered about the sap and nectar. 

I know I can just not eat it for 30 days but I've been on the Whole30 for over a year now and I'm trying to be completely compliant but I go through periods where I feel bored with my meals. So I'm trying to retool my old recipe favorites as well as trying new recipes to keep things interesting and am surprised by how many savory dishes call for sweetener. 

I tried making date paste once for a broth based soup but it doesn't really blend well into a thin sauce compared to adding it to a tomato sauce where you don't notice it texturally. 

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A drink sweetened in any manner would not be compliant.  The way you're talking about using dates/date paste would be acceptable.

You do note that you've been on Whole30 for a year.  Perhaps it's time for you to ride your own bike... it's not Whole365 as has been so famously said by the creators of the program... after a year, you should be wanting to figure out what works for you and doesn't work so that you can relax about things that are not problematic for you.  I would really encourage you to poke around the forums and google with the term 'ride your own bike' and 'life after whole30' and see what you can figure to make a Wholehrh plan going forward.

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Let me get this straight...dates are ok but if I puree dates and add almond milk to use in my coffee (instead of Sweet n Low and coffee mate) that's not compliant? Seriously? How about having black coffee, with bite of a date and a swig of almond milk? To me, it's essentially the same thing.  I can understand giving up my glass of wine with dinner, because it's logical. I'd really like someone to offer a logical explanation explaining the nutritional difference. For the most part, I really like this diet and have been eating very similar to this for years. It's not that I can't be compliant. There are some things that just don't work for me. 

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18 minutes ago, CIAI said:

Let me get this straight...dates are ok but if I puree dates and add almond milk to use in my coffee (instead of Sweet n Low and coffee mate) that's not compliant? Seriously? How about having black coffee, with bite of a date and a swig of almond milk? To me, it's essentially the same thing.  I can understand giving up my glass of wine with dinner, because it's logical. I'd really like someone to offer a logical explanation explaining the nutritional difference. For the most part, I really like this diet and have been eating very similar to this for years. It's not that I can't be compliant. There are some things that just don't work for me. 

Because dates as a sweetener are only permitted for lightly sweetening savory things like ketchup and bbq sauce just like cocoa is only permissible for using in something savory like a mocha steak rub or chocolate chili.

There is no nutritional difference between grinding up the date and almond milk and eating the date and almond milk, the difference is in the  psychological hold creamy sweet coffee can have on people and the rules about not replacing/remaking non compliant (sweet n low and coffee mate) foods with compliant foods.

 

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6 minutes ago, CIAI said:

Let me get this straight...dates are ok but if I puree dates and add almond milk to use in my coffee (instead of Sweet n Low and coffee mate) that's not compliant? Seriously? How about having black coffee, with bite of a date and a swig of almond milk? To me, it's essentially the same thing.  I can understand giving up my glass of wine with dinner, because it's logical. I'd really like someone to offer a logical explanation explaining the nutritional difference. For the most part, I really like this diet and have been eating very similar to this for years. It's not that I can't be compliant. There are some things that just don't work for me. 

Hi CIAI

This is one of those very grey areas that do cause a lot of controversy within the community.  And I understand why. It has to do with your relationship with that thing that you are being asked to give up.  And I get it.

Let's say you have an addiction to coffee creamer - it's sweet, it's rich and its frothy.  Yummy right?  So one of the things that many people try to recreate on a whole 30 is their old foods that they have an addiction to.  A date and almond milk is technically compliant right?  Yep totally is.  But mixing this together and putting it in your coffee is recreating an old favourite. Sweet - check. Rich - check. Frothy - yep if done with an immersion blender.

But what you may not realize is that this is doing nothing for healing your relationship with food or your addiction to coffee creamer.  Now I would agree with you it is a better choice than coffee creamer - but tell me why you have to recreate it?  What is the real reason? I know you want to enjoy your coffee and you don't enjoy it black.  I get it.  But then why do you drink coffee?  Do you drink it for the caffeine hit or because you really enjoy it?

I asked a similar question many moons ago when I did my first whole 30.  I was asking if I could make and eat paleo bread.  I argued that I used it merely as a vehicle to get protein and fat into my mouth.  I was asked why I needed it so badly that I could not live without it.  And the truth was - I could live without it - I just didn't want to.  I enjoyed baked goods too much and the thought of living without a baked good - even a rather tasteless one - scared me.

So my suggestion is to examine why you feel you need it so badly.  

Best of luck to you!

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