There are so many great vegan caramel sauces floating around the web lately. Sticky, gooey caramel sauces that you can drizzle over ice cream. Sounds delicious, right? It is but they can also be extremely messy. This is why I wanted to make a healthy caramel dip instead. Especially with little boys, who are by no means "clean" eaters, I wanted a special treat that I would feel good about giving them without being afraid of having caramel covering everything.
This caramel dip was surprisingly neat. Both my boys loved it and ate it with apples and pretzels. The options for this caramel dip don't have to stop at apples and pretzels. You can definitely spread this on pancakes, bread, ice cream, fruit, or anything else imaginable :D
Oh, and what else is great about this recipe? How incredibly easy it is to make this. Well...obviously...otherwise I wouldn't have bothered making it. It's only got 4 ingredients (excluding salt) and no added sugar.
Like with 80% of my other recipes, you'll be using a food processor. If you don't have one that's OK. You can also use a blender, vitamix, or nutribullet.
Yum! A rich caramel-like color and it tastes good! Now get to dipping...
You don't just have to use this caramel dip for apples though. Try my Caramel Brownies or Caramel Cheesecake to use this to its full potential!
Healthy Caramel Dip
- 4 Medjool Dates or 8 regular dates, pitted
- Vanilla caviar from 1 Vanilla Bean, alternatively use ¼ to ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 tablespoon Almond Milk unsweetened
- pinch Salt
- 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil melted
Place all ingredients in a food processor.
Pulse until no date chunks remain and smooth, scraping down sides if needed.
Eat with apples or other fruit, or even pretzels!
Store in fridge for up to 5 days.
1) Coconut Oil will harden in the fridge. Heat the caramel dip in a water bath or microwave to soften it again.
Don't know where to get some of these ingredients? I got you covered :)
Medjool Dates - If you are new to being vegan, you might get turned off by dates. I was at first too. I always thought they were like giant prunes or raisins, just nastier. Dates are actually very versatile and I can't imagine not using them anymore. They're very sweet and taste like gummy bears :) Thanks to them, we don't have to add any additional sugar to this caramel dip. You can use them in so many different recipes that it's definitely worth getting acquainted with them. I use them in nearly all my desserts.
Don't want to make this incredible healthy caramel dip?
It's O.K. I'll forgive you. Just this once!
I might also just be in a forgiving mood because Valentine's Day is in less than a week. Spread the vegan love by making my Strawberry Mini Tarts or Raspberry Chocolate Mini Cakes . Otherwise, try some of my other vegan dessert recipes!
The Vegan 8 says
Looks great Vanessa! Date caramel is so popular these days and I LOVE that you added vanilla bean...YUM! That stuff is intoxicating! The smell, the taste....all of it! My favorite caramel sauce ever is one I make with sweet potatoes and it fools everybody that it isn't the "regular" caramel.
I bet your boys gobbled this right up!
I saw your sweet potato caramel sauce but have yet to try it. I've been busy making your alfredo sauce over and over again! Vanilla bean is amazing. I actually read on another blog, don't remember which one, that once you have scraped out the inside to put it hollowed out vanilla bean into your sugar jar. It gives your sugar a slight vanilla smell and taste then. Yum!
I've recently fallen in love with date caramel. I've made a couple of jars which I enjoy by the dollop whenever a sweet craving need to be satisfied. I even add a little bit in savoury sauces sometimes, works wonders. :)
Date caramel is amazing and you can really use it on anything! I haven't tried adding it to savoury sauces though. I'll have to try that out :)
Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent says
I seriously need to get on the date bandwagon. I have yet to use dates , even though I've seen plenty of delicious-looking recipes that call for them! Caramel dip is the perfect way to get me to try them. ;)
Hi Meredith, It took me awhile to buy my first bag of dates. Once I did, I realized I had been missing out. I buy them in bulk now because I use them in a lot of my recipes :)
This Vegan Girl says
This caramel looks and sounds wonderful! I love that no added sugar is needed. I'll try this one soon!
Thanks! Let me know if you do :)
Maria G. says
This looks delicious, Vanessa! But why not just use coconut cream instead of milk and oil? The fat content would be about the same.
Hi Maria, I didn't even think about that. I think coconut cream might make it too rich and thick though. I'll have to try it out though next time.
Marie Claude says
I just discovered your site and I love it! ❤️
What can I use instead of the coconut oil?
Hi Marie, Subbing coconut oil will be difficult. Is it because of an allergy? You might get away with using melted vegan butter (or regular if you're not vegan) or palm oil. Maria G. below suggested using coconut cream instead of the almond milk and coconut oil. If it's allergy issue then obviously that won't work though.
Levan @ MyWifeMakes.com says
I want this -- No, I NEED THIS - dip right now! Caramel, seriously? How can ANYONE resist? Your children have great taste!
Looking awesome, as usual! Great recipe!
Thanks Levan, my kids like sweet things.. surprise surprise :) Let me know if you try it :) Though I'm sure Amrita could probably come up with her own kickass version :)
Manali @ CookWithManali says
I didn't know it was this easy to make vegan caramel dip Vanessa! Thanks for the recipe, will give it a try! :)
Yes so easy! Always great when a vegan version of a recipe is actually easier to make :)
Can you sub something for the almond milk? I'm allergic to all nuts, soy and lactose intolerant, so milks don't really work for me. I can do coconut .
Coconut milk should work. I would maybe even add it with a little bit of water so it's not so thick and has more of the consistency of milk. Hope that helps :)
Thanks, I'll give this a try.
I really want to try this with your caramel brownies but I don't have a food processor! Would a blender work the same?
Hi Christa, I've never made this without a food processor. I think it really might come down to your blender. If it's a high powered one like a vitamix, then it should work no problem. If it's a "regular" blender then I might suggest doubling the recipe or it might all get stuck below the blender blades. You might also have better luck if you add a bit more melted coconut oil or almond milk to it. If it's not completely smooth it should be fine for using in the brownies though :) Hope this helps a bit!
Hi, your recepies are amazing!!! I cant wait to try them.\
I wanted to know. If I wanted a runnier concotion would I add more Alomnd milk ( I make my own) or more coconut oil or both?
P.s I love using Vanila beans. I always put the pod after I remove all the good stuff in my Almond milk and get beautiful Vanila Almond Milk. Makes Smothies very fancy.
Vanessa Croessmann says
Hi Joanne, Yes, you can just add a bit more almond milk to make this caramel dip a bit runnier. I wouldn't add more coconut oil because when it cools and hardens it will just make the caramel thicker.
I also love your idea of adding the pod to some almond milk. That sounds absolutely delicious and perfect. I'm going to start doing that. I can't believe I've been tossing the used pods.
Hi! Can It be cooked ? It i wanted to make a caramel and Apple pie?
Vanessa Croessmann says
Hi Gen, I'm not quite sure how this caramel dip would do with a caramel apple pie. I haven't tried that out yet. I have baked it into some vegan caramel brownies though. I would love to hear how it goes if you try it out before I get a chance to!
Lucy Valdez says
This looks awesome! Definitely going to make it this holiday season:)
Hi! Tried this recipe today. Let me say that the flavor and texture are wonderful! My only issue was the amount of the ingredients to go into a Food Processor did not mix well. Not sure if this is meant for a "mini" food processor? Anyways, I first attempted on the Cuisinart food processor And the blade height with the amount of ingredients wouldn't mix well. So I went over to the Vitamix and same issue. SO I just kept adding more of the ingredients for the recipe until I thought the blade could do the job and it did!
Vanessa Croessmann says
Hi Shelly, I do tend to use a smaller food processor for making this caramel dip unless I'm doubling the recipe. That's definitely something I need to fix in the recipe and mention. I've also made it with an immersion blender when making even smaller batches. Sorry about that! I'm so happy though that you liked the flavor and texture of it ;)