Pure Date Syrup From Date Lady

A curative turned ingredient

Most medicine isn't known for its delicious taste.

But Colleen Sundlie's date syrup walks the line.

Sundlie–known as the "Date Lady"–first came across the sticky-sweet substance while living in the United Arab Emirates. While she was shopping for alternative iron sources for her year-old son, local women at the market recommended a daily spoonful of date syrup, a traditional Middle Eastern remedy.

She ended up using the stuff long after her son's iron levels stabilized, adding it to baked goods in the place of sugar, or stirring it into a cup of coffee.

Last year, she brought her obsession Stateside with the launch of Date Lady. The syrup ($8 for 12 ounces), made from organic Deglet Noor dates, is thin enough to drizzle (over a wheel of goat cheese, for instance), but packs concentrated flavor.

Unbridled sweetness ultimately gives way to an earthier, caramelized flavor, reminiscent of raisins and sherry. As the syrup dissipates, notes of root vegetables come to the fore.

It makes a tremendous substitute for molasses in baked goods, or as a topping for ice cream. We also used it to great effect combined with soy sauce, in a marinade for a whole grilled fish.

Who says healthy eating and sweets can't mix?