Anyone ever use Medjool dates to naturally sweeten and balance the flavor in a chili recipe? I am big on using natural and whole sources of sugar (organic honey, agave nectar, natural sugars, brown rice syrup, etc.) rather than artificial and highly refined sources of sugar.
When I cook chili, I usually use a few tablespoons of coconut sugar to give some sweetness to my chili, but the idea of trying dates came to mind and when I looked online, I couldn't find any recipes that particularly used dates as a sweetener.
I might give this a try. I am thinking of chopping them up in small pieces and making them into a loose paste and -then- adding it to the chili to dissolve while the chili simmers and cooks. I am thinking the complex, sweet flavor of a Medjool date would go well with all of the spices and add to its thick and hearty texture.
I am even thinking date syrup would be a good idea...