Dates, popularly called ‘Dabino’ by the Hausas are packed full of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, folates and minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium can be found in dates. They are also a good source of energy and fibre. Dates are naturally sweet because they have a high level of fructose which is a fruit sugar. Because of this sweetness, it can be chopped into cereals, smoothies and baked goods as a replacement for sugar.
Now, sugar is never a healthy option for your baby and kids (read about it here), so using fruits is a healthier option and dates is one of them. Honey is another healthy substitute for sugar but it should not be given or added to baby’s food until after one year of age. Dates on the other hand can be used for babies between 7 to 8 months of age.
Making dates into a paste or puree makes it easier to use especially for babies. To make a very smooth paste, you have to use a very good blender or food processor, otherwise it won’t blend well.
Dates is not only good for babies and kids but for you Mums and Dads too.
How to Make Date/Dabino Paste
- 1 cup or more Dates/Dabino (fresh or dried ones)
- Peel the dates and remove the stone/seed in the middle. Make sure you do this for all of them otherwise your blender may be damaged when blending.
- Soak the dates in water overnight if using the dried ones and for a few hours if using the fresh dates.
- Take out and blend well using a little of the water it was soaked in. If your blender is good, it will need less water and you will get a smooth thick paste. Adding more water will give you more of a puree-like texture.
Once made, it can be stored in the fridge for weeks. You can also freeze them in ice cube trays and then pack in a freezer bag. Take out and allow to defrost when you want to use it or just drop a frozen cube into a bowl of hot thick.porridge to cool it down.
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