You reach for your handy squeeze bottle of honey for just about everything: ricotta toast, smoothies, yogurt, marinades, salad dressing—you name it. That is, if you haven’t tried silan date syrup just yet. Silan is basically the Mediterranean equivalent to honey, only it has a richer texture, a more complex flavor and less natural sugar. And once you try it, you’ll want to make a permanent spot for it in your pantry. Read on to learn more about silan, plus our favorite brand to use and recipes to get started with.

RELATED: Honey vs. Sugar: Which Sweetener Is Really the Healthier Choice?

What Is Silan Date Syrup?

It’s a thick, sweet syrup made from dates. The dates are steamed and pressed into a dark brown syrup that’s similar to molasses in texture and color, but thin enough to drizzle, even more so than honey. If you like the taste of dates already, silan is a no-brainer. If you’ve never tried dates (or even if you think you don’t like them), silan tastes sweet and fruity with notes of caramelized brown sugar, so we’d say it’s definitely worth a try. (By itself, its flavor kind of reminds us of prune juice, but more concentrated and less tart.)

Each tablespoon of silan contains about 50 calories and 11 grams of natural sugar. Honey clocks in at about 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar per serving, for comparison. Silan is also naturally fat- and cholesterol-free. Since it’s made from dates, it also boasts a ton of vitamins (mostly A, C and D, plus all the B vitamins) and minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron. Dates are also a wonderful source of fiber, which helps regulate your digestive system.

silan date syrup product hero
The Tahini Goddess

How Can I Use Silan Date Syrup?

Any time that you use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup, agave or honey in a recipe, odds are silan can fill in. One of our favorite ways to use it is in a quick marinade for roasted veggies: It’s as simple as tossing the vegetables (we like Brussels sprouts or broccoli) in oil, silan, salt and pepper, then roasting them for about 15 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Just keep a watchful eye on them and turn the veggies halfway through, since the sugary silan could burn.

It’s a delicious addition to simple salad dressings, offering a punch of complex sweetness to any zingy vinaigrette. You can also bake with silan, or drizzle it onto pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal or toast. Heck, you can even stir it straight into a mug of hot tea.

Which Silan Date Syrup Should I Use?

There are plenty out there, but we love The Tahini Goddess’s silan date syrup, since it’s made with nothing but Israeli Medjool dates. (We also love using her whole sesame tahini to make vegan Nutella…but we digress.) All The Tahini Goddess’s products are made with sustainably sourced, non-GMO ingredients, and they’re free of added preservatives to boot.

Try a jar for yourself, and use the code purewow10 to save 10 percent on all silan, tahini and halva. (Valid through June 11.)

Buy it ($14)

What to Make with Silan Date Syrup

1. Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad

Yup, it’s as simple as it sounds. Just plate the melon, cheese and herbs, then drizzle on as much silan as your heart desires. (We can see a spritz of lemon working here, too.)

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The Tahini Goddess

2. Salad with Silan Dressing

A little fresh citrus and good olive oil go a long way. The recipe calls for spinach, zucchini, radishes and carrot, but feel free to use whatever produce you have on hand.

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The Tahini Goddess

3. Silan-Tahini Lemon Pie

Chia seeds, almond flour and egg bind this healthy lemon dessert beautifully.

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The Tahini Goddess

4. Zucchini Eggplant Duo

Feel free to go wild with the seasonings here (cumin! turmeric! smoked paprika!)—the spice rack is your oyster.

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The Tahini Goddess

5. Mediterranean Stuffed Onions

Stuff them with tender rice, or substitute cauliflower rice for a low-carb twist.

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Peter Som

6. Sheet-Pan Honey Tahini Salmon with Chickpeas and Couscous

Not only will this recipe leave you with minimal dirty dishes to clean, but you can also easily substitute the silan for honey in the sauce.

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Karen Tedesco/Family Style

7. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

This mélange of bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant doesn’t call for a sweetener, but you can certainly add silan to the marinade or drizzle it on top of the finished product.

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Twenty20

8. Honey Roasted Chickpeas

As if this snack isn’t already addictive enough, swapping honey for silan will give them an even bolder, richer, caramelized flavor.

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Jacqui Melville/Apple

9. Goat Cheese, Apple and Honey Tarts

Frozen puff pastry makes these minis a total breeze to put together. Add silan to the goat cheese topping or drizzle some onto each finished tart before serving.

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Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Eden Grinshpan

10. Harissa and Honey-Roasted Carrots

This dish is spicy, sweet, savory and tangy, thanks to the carrots being plated atop a generous bed of yogurt. Just swap silan for honey in the marinade and roast to perfection.

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