Food & dining

Make a date with this simply sweet syrup

Just Date Syrup is aptly named because it is made with only one ingredient: organic medjool dates. The sweet, succulent fruit that makes this lush mahogany syrup comes from California’s Coachella Valley. With an aroma of brown sugar and a rich caramel flavor, it’s packed with nutrients and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, honey, or maple syrup ($6.99 to $7.49 for 8.8 ounces). Use it cup for cup to replace sugar in a recipe to yield a moister cake, or drizzle over yogurt, stir into marinades and sauces or lattes, smoothies, and tea. Sylvie Charles, a doctor in San Francisco, launched the product two years ago. She had often searched for a tasty alternative to refined sugar for her patients. “I was always passionate about integrating food as medicine because I saw first hand the havoc diet can cause on health,” says Charles, who grew up in an Indian household where dates were used to sweeten chutneys. She was trying out a recipe for tamarind sauce when she simmered handfuls of dates to create syrup to replace sugar. She didn’t realize the result would be so delicious. Available at Pemberton Farms Marketplace, 2225 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 617-491-2244; Cambridge Naturals, 23 White St., Cambridge, 617-492-4452; Good Health Natural Foods, 1630 Hancock St., Quincy, 617-773-4925; Whole Foods Market locations, or go to