Want a tasty simple syrup without using cups of refined sugar? Make it with dates! Then take it over the edge by infusing it with herbaliciousness. For your consideration, we have Thai basil, lemongrass, or mint. Or make all three! This kind of freedom is intoxicating, I warn you.
Isn’t mint just GORGEOUS??? Oh, that color. I’m not trying to sway you, but man. It’s good stuff.
Ok, I’ve calmed down now. Let’s make some date syrup.
We’re going with medjool dates here but you can use any variety. If the dates you’re using have pits, take them out. Add the dates to a saucepan and cover with water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced about 1/4.
Remove the date pulp with a fine mesh strainer. Don’t toss it! It’s still got lots of life left for future treats. Stash it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it in another recipe.
Add the herb(s) or your choice to a clean glass container. I heart mason jars. I can’t seem to stop buying them. Michael has been known to say, “MORE jars? What are you going to do with them?” Well, THIS! 🙂
Pour the syrup over the herbs, seal the jars, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. The herbs will steep in the liquid and infuse the syrup with their delicious essences. You may be wondering why you wouldn’t just steep the herbs with the dates while the syrup is reducing. It’s a valid question. The reason I don’t is because the flavor isn’t very pronounced when it’s exposed to heat. The longer steeping time in cool liquid will draw out more of the flavor. I’m sure there’s something scientific about why. But I have no idea what it is.
Ta-dah!!! You now have Infused Date Syrup! Now go make some popsicles!
- 1½ cups of medjool dates, pitted (other date varieties can also be used)
- 3 cups of water
- ½-1 cup of fresh herbs of choice, such as Thai Basil, Lemongrass, or Mint
- In a medium saucepan, bring the date/water mixture a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by ¼.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, pour the liquid into a bowl and press as much liquid out of the date pulp as possible. Store the leftover date pulp in the refrigerator or freezer for another use.
- Pour the syrup over the herbs in a clear glass container, such as mason jar.
- Seal the container and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Remove the herbs and enjoy the syrup, such as in these Thai Basil Watermelon Popsicles.