By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon
Caramel sauce is essentially sugar that has been melted down to a brown liquid. To make it more palatable and easy to work with, it is then traditionally mixed with butter and cream. Ultimately, the sauce is a recipe that does little for your health and more for your muffin top. The following healthy caramel sauce recipe utilizes only 3 ingredients to turn caramel’s story into something a bit more positive, without compromising taste.
The backbone of caramel – sugar — has become taboo in mainstream diets, picking up slack for many a health woe. A high consumption of sugar can put you at an increased risk of obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. The other ingredients in caramel–milk and butter–contain saturated fats and are linked to heart disease. Needless to say, traditional caramel sauce needs a makeover.
This three-ingredient, vegan caramel sauce recipe tastes a lot like the original. Dates are the basis of the mix. Dates are naturally sweet and also have a deep, caramel-like flavor, which makes them perfect for this alternative recipe. The fruit also packs some serious health perks. In 100 grams of dates, there are 6.7 grams of fiber, nearly 700 milligrams of potassium, and 54 milligrams of magnesium. The same-sized serving also offers 18 percent of the recommended daily allowance of copper, 15 percent of manganese, and 12 percent of vitamin B6. Still, despite being a fruit, dates contain a lot of fruit sugar, so they shouldn’t be eaten in excess. Regardless, the following caramel sauce recipe is leaps and bounds above the traditional version in terms of health.
Healthy Caramel Sauce Recipe
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 cup BPA-free canned coconut milk
- 10 dates, pitted and diced finely
- Dash of sea salt
In a saucepan over medium heat, add all the ingredients. Stir constantly, waiting for the mixture to bubble. When it bubbles, turn the heat down a few notches, to medium-low. Continue to let bubble, allowing for the water from the coconut milk to be cooked off. The mixture will thicken. When you can run a spatula down the surface and a trail follows, this means the mixture is thick enough and can be removed from the stove. Serve cool or hot with ice cream, slices of apple, or as a glaze for baked goods.