Sugar free caramel sauce
If you have been looking for a creamy sugar free caramel sauce or dip to serve with apples then look no further. I love that this recipe contains no refined sugar, is dairy and gluten free and is a great vegan option. It would also be a healthy sweet topping for pancakes or pumpkin muffins. Try eating it with bananas and some dairy free chocolate chips for a healthier dessert. Another way to use this sauce is to make a dairy free latte.
Why are dates good for you?
Dates are good for you because they contain polyphenols, iron, B-6, potassium and fiber and they act as a great natural sweetener.
- They are high in polyphenols and contain more of them than other fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols can help protect the body from inflammation since they are an antioxidant compound.
- They contain iron. Vitamin B-6 and Potassium!
- They contain fiber which helps you feel full for longer and helps to cleanse your bowels as it passes through your body.
Dates as a sweetner
I find that dates are one of the best natural sweeteners since they contain high amounts of naturally occurring sugar with nutrients that help your body stay healthy. According to Live Strong dates are a healthier sweetener than white sugar because
“Unlike white sugar, dates contain blood-glucose-stabilizing fiber as well as antioxidants that make it a healthier sweetener.”
There are many recipes that can be sweetened with dates to cut our refined sugars. Which is why I created this Sugar Free Caramel Sauce. And I sometimes use a date paste to sweeten my pancakes, muffins, coffee creamer and I’ve even added it to my meatloaf. Which sounds weird but the meatloaf turned out amazing! I’ve also used it to make a vegan sugar free caramel latte.
Why do you add coconut milk and oil?
While a lot of date paste/sauce recipes use water and no oils, I like to use coconut milk and coconut oil. Because they add a fatty flavor to the sauce. It makes the sauce taste more caramel like since normal caramel is made with butter and heavy cream. For a video on how to make my sugar free caramel sauce click here. Scroll past the recipe for more detailed instructions.
Sugar Free Caramel Sauce
- 12 Pitted Dates, chopped into quarters (optional)*
- 1 cup hot coconut milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 TBSP maple syrup**
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- Place the chopped pitted dates into a glass bowl (or another heat proof bowl).
- Bring the coconut milk to boil. Pour the hot milk into the glass bowl over the dates. Cover the bowl with a glass plate. Let them soak for 15 minutes.
- Once they have finished soaking, add the dates and milk into your blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. There should be no chunks.
- Transfer the date mixture into a small saucepan. Use a spatula to scrape the sides. Turn the heat to medium/high.
- Add in the maple syrup, salt and coconut oil. Lightly stir with a whisk until it starts to bubble. Boil for 1 minute.
- Once it has finished boiling, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Once your sauce has simmered for twenty minutes, scrape into a glass container. Refrigerate until it has completely cooled.
- Serve with apples or as a sugar free topping for waffles
Do I need to chop the dates?
Chop the dates into quarter pieces. This will allow them to soften and soak in more milk before you blend them. However, if you have a high powered blender, then chopping them before soaking them in milk isn’t necessary. With my blender I find that the consistency turns out smoother if I chop them before soaking in the milk.
Soaking and blending the dates
Place the chopped dates into a glass bowl. Heat the coconut just until it boils. Pour the milk over the dates. Cover the bowl with glass plate and let them soak for 10-15 minutes. Once they have finished soaking scrape contents of bowl into the blender and blend until smooth. Then scrape the blended dates into a small sauce pan.
Cooking the Sugar free caramel sauce
I found this part so much easier than making a traditional caramel sauce. Place the sauce pan on the stove and turn onto a medium high heat. Add in the salt, maple syrup and coconut oil. Stir to combine. Bring the suace to a boil. It will be bubbling up so much that you can’t stir it down. Let it boil for 1 minute and then reduce the temperature to low. Let it simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionaly to ensure that it doesn’t burn.
How to store the caramel sauce
Pour the caramel suace into a glass jar or or glass container. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Alternatively you can store it in a freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months.