It is almost impossible to believe that this dip is 100% sugar-free. (It took my husband and I eating almost the entire portion to believe it!) Thankfully, our parental instincts kicked in before we finished off the bowl and we remembered that this treat was in fact, my son’s!
For some time now I’ve been trying to find a substitute for sugar in caramel sauce. White sugar is not a hot commodity in this household (except with my husband…old-school Italian habits die hard!). I usually replace sugar with other more natural sweeteners, such as honey, agave, palm sugar, etc.
I literally wanted to omit ANY type of sugar in this recipe. Coincidentally, (seeing that I’ve been on such an energy bar kick lately) I’ve discovered my new favourite ingredient in the kitchen…dates!
They were perfect for this recipe. Not only are they are super-sweet (naturally) but they also add a creamy, thick consistency to this dip. Most caramel dips have a more syrupy consistency, which actually makes it difficult to do any dipping at all!
Well, you won’t have a problem with this variation…you might just skip the dipping “tool” and go right for the spoonful on its own!
(Yields about 1 cup)
1/2 cup walnuts, unsalted
1/2 cup Medjool dates (about 8-10 large dates)
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin coconut oil, unmelted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
Place all ingredients in a large food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. (Remember to check for large pieces of nuts and dates that aren’t fully processed.)
The dip will be creamy and not too dense, however, once refrigerated it will thicken a bit. If you prefer a creamier consistency add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to blend until you get the desired consistency.
Serve immediately with crunchy green apple slices…
or eat alone by the spoonful (as my husband and I did!). ;-)
Store in the fridge in an air-tight container. Serve cold or reheat until warm.