Leaves are fallen and the smell of November is in the air. Pumpkins are on doorsteps, in pies and crockpots, and flavoring lattes. And the allure of the creamy, toffee colored, buttery, salted caramel has been teasing me… There are salted caramel chocolates and salted caramel lattes and salted caramel toppings and none of them are for me! Ah, such is the way of the “Free Birds” – the dairy free, the gluten free – the you-know-who-you-are-free-like-me’s! So, this one is for you (and for me!)! I give you Sarah’s Salted Coconut Caramel Sauce ~
Now, I remember the buttery flavor of caramel from my former life and I can tell you that this culinary creation suits my memories while satisfying my need to be free. Try it out and let me know what you think… I’ve spooned it over sliced banana, had a dollop on a piece of vegan chocolate, drizzled it over chocolate coconut milk ice cream and licked the spoon every time!
Salted Coconut Caramel (dairy free, gluten free, nut free, vegan)
1 cup thick coconut cream (the top layer in canned coconut milk or ½ cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate mixed with ½ cup water)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup medool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp vanilla powder
1 Tbsp Earth Balance, buttery spread (optional)
Coarse Sea Salt or Salt Flakes for sprinkling
- Soak the pitted dates in the coconut milk until they are soft. Soaking times will vary depending on the freshness of your dates. This step is really important if your blender isn’t a Vitamix or Blendtec or able to really pulverize the dates. We want the caramel sauce to be creamy, so soft dates help ensure that regardless of your blender!
- Once softened, place dates, coconut cream, coconut milk and vanilla powder in your Vitamix or high speed blender. Start on low speed, then work up to the highest and leave it there until the mixture looks creamy and all of the dates are incorporated. No flecks!
- Turn off the blender and use a spoon to fetch a taste. If you’re wanting something with a more buttery flavor, try adding the Earth Balance and go back to blending until everything is really smooth.
- This sauce is pourable right from the blender. You can thin it with more coconut milk if you prefer a thinner consistency. To thicken it up for dipping or spreading, transfer the sauce to a nice bowl and cool it in the fridge for an hour.
- For the salted caramel experience, put a dollop of the caramel sauce on your favorite fruit, pie, pudding, hot chocolate or latte and then sprinkle with your finishing salt.
Perfectly free to be you and me… buttery, toffee tasting, creamy, salted you and me! Enjoy!