Sometimes there are things in nature that just blow my mind when I think about them.
One of those things is the humble little date. I remember thinking they were so gross looking as a kid. I thought they looked like cockroaches to be honest. Now that I’ve gotten older I’m becoming more and more obsessed with them. I mean, they’re like caramel that grows on trees, it’s crazy.
So this idea of a simple caramel sauce might be a something you’ve heard of many times but to me it was a pretty new thing the first time I heard about it. I love how many things you can use it for. In the photos I decided to show some apple slices as a “serving suggestion” but there’s a world of possibilities with this stuff. You can bake with it, add it to smoothies for a quicker blend, spread it on toast, and dip all kinds of things in it.
Before you make this extremely simple recipe I would recommend just a few things. Firstly, soaking the dates overnight in the milk is a game changer. Some medjool dates are softer than others but if you have even the softer ones you still might have trouble getting them to blend smooth. I definitely did and the first time I tried making this recipe I kept blending and blending without getting anywhere.
The second thing I’d recommend, especially if you want to make this in a smaller amount, is to use a food processor. I actually don’t have one at the moment but if I did I know this would be a whole lot faster in it. That brings me to the third recommendation, which is to make more at once if you can. This saves pretty well in the refrigerator so I love having it on hand. I’ve just found it much faster to make if you have enough in your blender that it’s not just getting flung up the sides.
Alright, so now I think you’re all set to try this really easy recipe. Let me know what you decide to use it for or, if you’ve already tried it, what you’ve done with it in the past.
Did you think caramel couldn't be healthy? Me too! But this version only needs a few ingredients and is so easy to make, AND it's healthy!
- 12 medium medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 - 2/3 cup plant-based milk (almond, oat, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
- Chop the dates finely (this will help it blend so much faster and easier). Place them in a bowl or container and pour the milk over them and stir a bit to coat them all. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes or longer if possible.
- Pour the soaked mixture into food processor or blender and add vanilla and salt . Blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides a few times to be sure it's all smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and use however you'd like.