Halloween Recipe || Caramel ||10.30.14

Halloween is upon us! In fact it’s tomorrow!!! Do you love Halloween as much as I do? Because my room is decorated with fake leaves, window stickies, and pumpkin paintings. I have been reading some great blog posts written by ladies who painted their pumpkins white to line their entryways and others who spread out huge cobwebs throughout their houses. In honor of our Health and Wellness Thursdays, here’s what I’m contributing to the best day of the year… Introducing a beautifying and delicious, blended to perfection caramel! And since I couldn’t decide just which one to make, I decided to make three and let you know how they all worked out! The recipes below are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free, and definitely so delicious your spoon will be diving back in for more.

Enjoy some of this deliciousness with apples (my personal favorite), on top of oatmeal, inside homemade peanut butter cups, or straight from the spoon. Imagine this stirred into a container of peanut butter … drool.

|| CARAMEL ||

date based, with oil or without, maybe some almond butter – all good

IMG_1529

first recipe //

Ingredients ||

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/6 cup + 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 dates
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Dash of salt (to taste)

Recipe ||

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender (I used my magic bullet – not the best, but hey, dorm room) and blend until all ingredients are incorporated, the texture is a light golden brown, and the consistency is smooth – easy peasy

Notes ||

Experimenting with this recipe was so fun, because the flavors individually are so far from the taste of caramel – but when combined I must kiss my fingers and say mmmmagnificent. At first I could still taste almond butter in one bite, maple syrup in the other, maybe a little date, but after letting the flavors sit and mingle, the flavor was more caramel than I ever imagined -- not exact but pretty darn close. Plus, it looks like caramel and has that gorgeous drippy texture that I was looking for in my little experiment. The original recipe uses vanilla, and I bet that would have added another dynamic, but I didn’t have some quality vanilla extract on me and since we were keeping this raw, I didn’t want any of that alcohol aftertaste. This one is great with apples. I had to restrain myself. Majorly restrain. I also made my almond butter in my Magic Bullet before I made this, so it was a little drier than the usual store-bought brands and that might have contributed to the original overwhelming almond butter taste.

tested and adapted from Nutrition Stripped


second recipe //

Ingredients ||

  • ¼ cup soaked dates
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ½ tablespoon almond butter (can be omitted)
  • cinnamon
  • a dash of sea salt
  • water as needed

Recipe ||

  1. Send all of the ingredients to a high speed blender, like above, and let it do it’s thing --

Notes ||

Dates naturally taste very carameley – it’s awesome for quick snacks with a little chocolate chips and almond butter inside, but that's beside the point . This recipe had a very nice light flavor, an airy texture, and didn’t sit heavy in my stomach. It also didn’t taste rich and decadent which is what I was going for, but it would be awesome in a peanut butter cup inspired recipe with tahini and this caramel wrapped with raw chocolate. Yum. The almond butter wasn’t in the original recipe but just added a nice depth of flavor I couldn’t pass up.

 

tested and adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life 

 


third recipe //

Ingredients ||

  • ½ cup of dates
  • ½ banana (or 2 tbsp coconut oil if not staying oil free)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • dash of sea salt

Recipe ||

  1. Yep! You guessed right – throw them all in the blender and wait for smooth perfection --

Notes ||

This recipe looked the most like caramel, but unfortunately tasted too much like banana (duh em, there’s a banana in there). Nevertheless, I think this would be amazing swirled into a banana bread recipe or cookie rather than dipped with apples or eaten by itself.

tested and adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life 


 

Overall, I love the first one for eating on its own and the other two for swirling into some delicious recipes. I really encourage you to tweak all the recipes, throw them all together if you want, and let me know what you think! I was playing with these during a really upsetting weekend, so it was a great relief. Just go in there with no expectations and let me know what magic you whip up?

 

[photos by emily friend]