Hands up if you love a bit of salted caramel. I certainly do. But most salted caramel contains butter – dairy or vegan – which is not part of a whole-food plant-based diet. Or a health programme like Overcoming MS. They contain too much saturated fats or refined oils.
So how can you make a caramel without it? It’s easier than it might seem. In fact easier than traditional caramel! And only needs 3 ingredients. Or 4 if you include the water 🙂
- vanilla essence
Dates are so lovely and sticky and sweet they make the perfect ingredient for caramel. Medjool dates are the best, but expensive. So any type of date is ok, it just won’t be quite as sweet and rich. But it will be affordable!
Using whole dates means you get all the nutrition benefits locked up in these gorgeous stoned fruits. For a start, lots of fibre which of course is good for gut health. As they have a high sugar content, the fibre also means it’s released more slowly, meaning your body can process more easily than a shot of pure sugar.
There’s also lots of minerals in dates including calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin K. All great for cell health, and bone health too, which is good to know.
Dates also contain a huge range of cell-loving anti-oxidant compounds like carotenoids, polyphenols such phenolic acids, isoflavones, lignans, and flavonoids, tannins, and sterols. Which means your body loves them as much as your tastebuds!
This salted caramel sauce has many uses:
- drizzle on ice cream or dairy-free yoghurt
- add to smoothies
- spread on toast or rice cakes
- topping for cakes
- filling for desserts
I really like it on top of chocolate brownies – my vegan cherry chocolate brownies recipe is particularly good (recipe coming soon).
The sauce will last up to 4 days in an air-tight container in the fridge and a batch makes roughly 250g, so if you don’t think you’ll use that much, halve the recipe (but make sure there’s enough in the blender jug to cover the blades).
I hope you enjoy this yummy sweet sauce. Do let me know what you add yours to!
Vegan salted caramel sauce
- High speed blender
- small lidded storage jar
- 160 grams dates pitted
- 120 ml water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt
- Place the dates in a bowl and soak with hot water for 2 hours to soften
- Drain the dates and pop them into a small blender jug with the other ingredients
- Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth
- Check the flavour - add more salt if needed
- Transfer to the storage jar. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days