No sugars?! That sounded ominous! A couple of folks in my family are used to binging on sweets instead of meals! And here we were being told to keep off sugar, or else!
Paying closer attention to the advice from Dr. Achyuhtan we realised the horror that this innocuous and innocent-looking handful of shiny, white grains were wrecking on our bodies! Some of us over the age of fifty could recollect that sugar was never as white as it came in today and that our grans used jaggery quite a lot. We learnt though that while jaggery was better than sugar, whole fruits were the best, possibly followed only by dried fruits and some plant-based sweeteners!
And so began our journey towards removing sugar from our diets. We toiled hard and found the making dates as a paste and using it like one would use jaggery worked really well! The initial experiments were a bit off track but over the days we learnt that dates could be soaked and ground; they could be ground dry slowly a little at a time along with some nuts in order to not spoil the mixer; they could be chopped fine and get added to food like raisins; they could be cut into long slivers; they could be dried and powdered as well!
But the beauty of dates was that it reduced carbon emissions considerably! In the place of having to caramelise sugar or jaggery, we could just add the thick ground up dates to roasted flours or nuts to make laddus! Chocolates were just a matter of adding roasted cocoa powder to ground up dates and nuts and within seconds you had the most delicious chocolates you could have ever dreamed of! Syrups made of dates are very yummy too! We are very careful NOT to throw away the fibres though! Imagine a gulab jamun with its jeera water made from liquids that soaked dates and the fibre of the soaked dates got put into a nut and wheat-based balls that soaked into the saffron-infused date syrup...just yum! No, we no longer miss sugars or sugar syrups! We have just gotten addicted to sugar-free sweet syrups!