There are many different kinds of natural sugars out there, all waiting to sweeten baked goods, cereals or coffee and tea in a less-processed and often more flavorful way. We've written about turbinado, demerara and muscovado sugars before here on The Kitchn, but have recently come to be quite fond of date sugar. Have you heard of it?Date sugar is really just dehydrated and ground dates. It's dark and moist much like muscovado sugar, so it should be stored in an airtight cool place. It has a lovely, mild flavor that's more subtle than white sugar. You know that creaminess that dates impart to baked goods? That creaminess comes across in date sugar, too.
As far as usage, you can use it as a 1:1 substitute for brown sugar in a recipe, but I find that date sugar doesn't melt particularly well and it can be on the pricey side, so I use it mainly as a finishing sugar and love stirring it into my morning coffee.
When you're looking for a little something to sprinkle on top of your morning oats or porridge, give date sugar a spin! But do avoid using it for more scientific baking where heat is involved (candy making, for instance). It's a nice, natural sugar for fall and you'll likely find a bag will stretch for quite a long time in the pantry.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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