Date plays three key roles in the formation of date-based protein bars. Providing minerals and proteins, providing energy, and keeping all the ingredients together. And that’s besides using dates as a healthy substitute for white sugar. In this article, we focus mainly on the uses of date paste in the production of commercial protein bars. Should you have any questions about benefits, uses and production of date paste click here.
- Protein Bars
- Date Paste Energy Bars
- Date Granola Bars
- Why Date Paste Works Better
- Types of Date Paste Protein Bars
Protein bars are nutrition bars that deliver a huge selection of protein blends, carbs, and fats. They are a super-convenient way to get high proportions of protein, carbohydrates, or fat. Protein bars come in a variety of forms and combinations, ranging from vegan protein bars to high-protein, low-carb protein bars. But they have one ingredient in common–date paste.
Date Paste Energy Bars
Date paste protein/energy bars have a soft, slightly chewy texture with medium to high sweetness. The level of softness is determined by the type of dates and also by other ingredients you include.
Date paste plays many functions in energy bars, and we will be discussing some of them here.
Date paste provides taste
Dates have long been associated with a sweet taste. In fact, dates are a concentrated source of natural sugars, mostly fructose. So they make a great healthy substitute for sugar in recipes.
Dates contain volatile substances that are continuously synthesized and developed during fruit growth and ripening. These aroma volatile compounds are present in date fruits and emit from them after harvesting. Most of these volatile compounds will show up in date paste.
In general, fresh dates give a delectable, sweet, caramel-like taste and aroma to date bars.
Date Paste provides proteins and minerals
Protein constitutes nearly 2 percent of the mass of average date fruit.
Date paste adds sweetness to protein/energy bars. Beyond that, it provides essential nutrients. Dates are loaded with iron, vitamins, antioxidants, and proteins which can also be retained in date paste
Date Paste provides energy
Dates are also high in carbohydrates and their calorie content (277 calories/100gr) is higher than most fresh fruits.
Despite containing large amounts of sugar, dates have a very low glycemic index. This means they are very unlikely to cause blood sugar spikes.
Date Paste acts as a binder
Date paste works to support the structure of the bar by keeping other ingredients together. Dates in general have a sticky texture and as such, can work as an efficient agent in keeping ingredients together.
Dates syrup (another date product) also shows excellent properties as a tablet binder in comparison to starch paste or sucrose syrup.
Optional Ingredients of date protein bars
The minimalist version of the date protein bar contains date paste and a nut. Other ingredients can also be included in date bars. The type of ingredients you use depends on your market.
The name of the main ingredient is likely to appear on the name. For example, some of the more common date protein bars are,
- Date almond bars
- Date fruit bars
- Date chocolate bars
- Date seeds bars
- Date granola bars
The most common nut used in date bars is almond.
Date Granola Bars
One very popular form of granola bar is date granola bar– for example, Chewy Almond Butter Date Granola Bar. Many people like to eat them as a healthy snack. Some even feed them to children.
Store-bought date granola bars compare favorably with homemade nut milk. They can be used as simple desserts when stuffed with nut butter and a few chocolate chips.
Date granola bars provide lots of whole grains (rolled oats) and fiber (dates). They have lots of protein in them from the almond butter and whole grains. Date paste is the only sweetener used in date granola bars unless they are coated with chocolates.
Why Date Paste Works Better
You can use diced dates instead of date paste to make date protein bars. But the best way to substitute dates for white sugar is to make date paste. A rule of thumb is to replace sugar with date paste at a 1:1 ratio.
Why date paste?
The major concern in making date protein bars is to get a consistent texture in each batch of bars. It is almost impossible to get that consistency if you use dates instead of date paste in the bars. This is because dates have different levels of moisture; some dates are dry whereas others are wetter.
The consistency and texture of date paste (and the resultant bar) depend highly on the type of dates used. Juicy dates typically deliver tacky date paste, while dried dates that are hard to touch, deliver a thick paste. Sayer and Medjool are examples of soft dates.
Types of Date Paste Protein Bars
There are two major options regarding the percentage of the dates in the bar.
Soft and Date-y
Soft & Datey means you can choose the preferred percentage of dates in a bar. There are three different grades: low, medium, and high. But regardless of the percentage of dates you choose, this base has the highest percentage of dates.
Soft and Chewy
Soft & Chewy has a specific percentage of dates along with an additional binding ingredient that you can select. Coconut nectar, fiber syrup, or honey can be chosen. This option allows a little more control over sugar levels in your bars than the ‘Soft and Datey’ option.
Both the ‘Soft & Datey’ and ‘Soft & Chewy’ options contain dates but they constitute different proportions of total ingredients.
Date paste protein/energy bars are a healthy substitute for unhealthy snacks. They have date paste with other ingredients. Date paste protein bars can be customized with various options to suit your customers’ tastes. Please stay tuned to our website for more articles on the topic.