Have you ever had a date? As in the small kind of ugly-looking fruit. Not like have you ever been out to a restaurant for an evening of awkward conversation with someone you don't really know that well. I'm not trying to set up a singles site here. Anyway, I'm asking because up until about a year ago, I'd never had a date in my life. And up until a few weeks ago, I'd never actually had a date that I'd enjoyed. But now I can't stop snacking on the things! And I'm going to share my secret with you so that you'll be ditching the vending machine junk and grabbing handfuls of of the sweet fruit the next time a sugar craving hits, too.
The easiest way to love snacking on dates is to buy good quality medjool dates. Big, juicy dates you can buy from specialist retailers online are worlds away from the hard, dried up ones you usually get in supermarkets and they're not expensive either! When I buy my medjool dates online, they're always cheaper than the ones in the supermarket and they last for months in the fridge, or so I'm told. I can't verify that first hand because dates never last that long in the Happy Healthy Motivated household!
Not only are quality medjool dates so much better in texture, but they taste better, too. They're so sweet, rich and caramel-like that I knew I could whizz them up in my Nutribullet and turn them into a delicious spreadable caramel. This stuff is so tasty and versatile! You can use it as a fruit dip, spread it on toast, use it to sweeten oatmeal or even use it to replace both butter and sugar when baking. Not bad for something that's vegan, gluten-free and practically fat-free, right? And that's not even touching on all the vitamins and minerals that medjool dates naturally contain!
But wait - it gets even better. This healthy one-ingredient vegan caramel can be made with one single machine and in just 5 minutes. So the next time you're craving something sweet and buttery to top your frozen yogurt with, give this recipe a shot! You'll have a full jar of vegan caramel before your frozen yogurt has even started to melt!
Disclaimer: I'm claiming this recipe uses just one ingredient - dates. But there is another one in there - tap water. But just like food bloggers rarely count salt and pepper as ingredients in a recipe, I'm not going to count tap water as one either. If you've a bit of a pedant, feel free to think of this as healthy two-ingredient vegan caramel. 🙂
Although I'm a big fan of easy recipes (tick!) which use few ingredients (tick!) and can be made in a short time (tick!), this recipe does require a rather specialist piece of equipment. You guessed it - it's my new favourite kitchen appliance - the Magic Bullet Nutribullet! I use this magic kitchen tool for absolutely everything, vegan caramel included. Although some people have had success using very high-powered blenders or food processors to make healthy caramel with dates, I never use anything other than my Nutribullet. It's quick, it's powerful and it's incredibly easy to clean. Why would you want to use anything else?
vegan - gluten-free - low-fat - low sodium
Healthy One-Ingredient Vegan Caramel
- 20 high-quality medjool dates
- ¼-1/3 cup water
- Slice each of the medjool dates in half and remove the seeds.
- Place the dates inside the cup of your Magic Bullet Nutribullet with ¼ cup of water and screw on the extractor blade.
- Blend the contents of the cup until you've got a totally smooth paste. You'll probably have to scrape the insides of the cup down with a spatula several times to make sure the dates get thoroughly ground up. You might also have to add extra water (make sure you do it only 1 tablespoon at a time) to get the right texture.
- When you've got a smooth consistency, scoop the caramel into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to two months.