Well well well… VALENTINE’S DAY has rolled around yet again and I’m left DATELESS… at least in the man sense. That’s okay! Luckily, I’m not actually DATE-less because I’ve got a HUGE vat of this super duper easy-to-make SIMPLE Date Caramel in my fridge.
It’s sweeter than any guy has ever been to me anyway! (Don’t worry, this statement speaks to the AMAZING-ness of this recipe, not to the low quality of the males in my life 😉 )
I’ve seen a few recipes for vegan/naturally-sweetened/healthy caramels floating around the web… but I wanted to create my own magical mixture. Luckily, I think I got the balance just right!
This recipe is as simple as throwing some easy-to-find ingredients in a blender or food processor, and letting it do the rest of the work.
Just press the “ON” button, and a few minutes later, you’re left with a smooth, luscious mixture of creamy decadence… basically liquid gold!
This caramel is perfect as a dip for pretzels, apples, on top of a nice pan of brownies, or slathered on a big bowl of oats. YUM! My favorite capacity to use this caramel with study snacks, as it has the ability to make snacking far more exciting. I’m talking caramel apple nachos, peanut butter caramel toast, and SO many other tasty things.
Some final notes on the recipe:
- I used soft dried Deglet Noor dates in this, however I’m sure you could use ANY variety. Mine were soft enough to blend without soaking beforehand, but if you have dates that are on the dry-er side, I would recommend soaking them in warm water before blending.
- I used TAHINI (which is Sesame Seed butter) in this recipe because the sesame flavor combined with the date flavor becomes caramel-ey tasting. If you don’t have Tahini, go buy some! Just kidding, you can sub almond or even peanut butter (with a slight flavor shift). But seriously, Tahini is a kitchen STAPLE for me, and you can make so many fun things with it, so consider trying it out (check out my post on How to make Raw Kale Taste Good for another idea for how to use it).
- The SALT really offsets the sweetness of the dates- don’t leave it out!
- As for the LIQUID: If you have dairy free milk- use it! If you don’t, feel free to use water to thin. This caramel does great as a thicker dip but I LOVE when its thin enough to drizzle atop things.
Some fun optional add ins:
- 1/2 tsp CINNAMON or PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: If you’re missing those holiday vibes
- An extra 3/4 tsp SALT: Salted caramel, anyone?
- 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT: If you like things on the ~richer~ side
- 1/2 cup shredded COCONUT: For an Almond Joy type of thing…
- An extra 1 tbsp TAHINI: If you want it even creamier
Finally, If you end up making this I’d love to see your recreations or hear how it went in the comments below! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @cookwithcourt and #cookwithcourt to share!
SIMPLE Date Caramel
- 12 oz Dates (about 2 cups loosely packed)*
- 2 tsp Tahini **
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-12 tbsp plant milk ***
If your dates are not soft, soak them in warm water for a minimum of 10 minutes. After they are done soaking, drain them from the water.
Add dates, tahini, and salt to a food processor (or high speed blender). Blend on high for about 1 minute (The mixture will look like it's not going to blend at first. Then, it will form what looks like a dough ball. After that, it should start to finally blend and become creamy). Scrape down edges and repeat blending to ensure full incorporation.
Add plant milk and thin out your mixture until desired consistency is reached (when refrigerated, the mixture will thicken up even more, so keep this in mind). Store in refrigerator for up to three weeks in an airtight container. Enjoy!
*I used soft dried Deglet Noor dates, however you can use ANY variety. Mine were soft enough to blend without soaking beforehand, but if you have dates on the dry-er side, I would recommend soaking them in warm water beforehand.
**The tahini/date combo lends to a caramel-ey flavor. If you don't have tahini, you can sub with almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter.
***(Such as soy milk, cashew milk, or almond milk) Can sub with water if desired.