So, I was looking around on YouTube for more Chef AJ videos. She wrote “Unprocessed,” which is a cookbook I downloaded for my vacation and where I learned more about the problems with sugar. Chef AJ strictly uses dates or date paste for sweetening. You can make your own date paste in a surprisingly easy way as explained at The Chalkboard. You will not miss the sugar when you use this as an ingredient in recipes calling for sugar, trust me on this one. I buy Hadley’s Medjool Dates, which were recommended by a friend, but you can go with any brand selling Medjool. You can generally find different packaged dates over by the nuts and seeds in your produce department. The only important thing to remember is get Medjool because they are the sweetest by far, as Jeff Novick points out in his shopping/cooking guides.
Why get away from sugar? For me, sugar equals pain and sinus issues. Sugary snacks are great, but I have indulged enough, and I feel better overall when I avoid refined sugar in food.
Anyway, back to AJ. She is an absolute trouper in this presentation she made at a vegetarian convention, even going so far as crawling under a table to use her processor because it was the only available outlet! This presentation is about an hour, and you can speed through some of it, but listen to her story and you will get why she is so passionate about this. You can read more about her story in “Unprocessed,” but this video is the condensed version. She packs a lot of info in her demonstration and never stops talking. Ever. How does she remember all of that? Also, there are a lot of distractions at the beginning of this (people muttering near the camera) and she has helpers who keep walking in front of the camera, but stick with it. She is fighting the good fight and needs her own plant-based cooking TV show.