Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3-Ingredient Creamy Raw "Caramel" (SCD, GAPS, Paleo)

One of my more popular posts and perhaps one of my favorite recipes is my raw "caramel" sauce.  I make it quite frequently and practically drink the stuff.  I've been experimenting with the original recipe in hopes to make a thicker version that would mimic actual caramel so I could spread it or use it in chocolate.  Well, with very little effort I made it work just by adding more dates and excluding some of the liquid ingredients.  Let me first say that the cashew butter is a must in this recipe. You can make your own or buy the super expensive (albeit super delicious) store brand.  Either way, cashew is the way to go.  This "caramel" is thick, creamy, and delicious.  And it remedies my husband's sweet tooth like nobody's business.  Great for kids too - check out how fun and easy it is to spread on tart apples.  I hope you'll give this a try.  It's a delightful raw treat.  
Creamy Raw Caramel

-2 cups of Medjool dates - 24 dates (make sure they are fresh and soft)
-1/2 cup cashew butter*
-2 tablespoons honey*
-2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)

How To:
1.  Seed the dates and soak the dates in room temperature water for 1 hour (do not soak longer, as they will become too soft and create very thin caramel).
2.  After the dates have soaked for 1 hour, drain all the water off and add them to a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until broken down and coming together as a paste.
3.  Add in the cashew butter and blend.
4.  Drizzle in the honey and optional vanilla 
5.  Blend until everything is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and creamy.
6.  Eat as is or store in refrigerator.

*For the cashew butter, use homemade or this store brand is quite delicious. 
*Cannot have cashews, try sunflower seed butter - it will completely change the flavor (just FYI).  Almond butter might work, but it has a much different texture, so the final product will not be as creamy (probably thin and gritty).  Sorry if you cannot have dates, I don't have any subs for the dates. 
*In place of the honey, vegans use grade B maple syrup, coconut nectar, yacon syrup (or 10 drops of stevia).
{affiliate links in post} 
Shared on: Raw Foods Thursday, Wellness Weekend, Lunchbox Love Friday,  Allergy-Free Wednesdays 


  1. Gabby @ the veggie nookNovember 21, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I never liked caramel apples because of the awful way the caramel coating stuck to my teeth. This caramel looks perfectly wonderful though and I would gladly bite into your version :)

    1. Oh I so agree. I get flashbacks from when I had braces. "DON"T eat the sticky caramel...ahhhhh."

      I think you would like this simple combination, Gabby. Cashew butter is amazing.

  • Tessa Domestic DivaNovember 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    You have gotten a light for taking pictures! They look great! I think this would awesome as a dip for apples as an after school snack, yum!

    1. Ha ha. No light my friend, well, light from the sun! I have a west facing window that lets in some nice light in the late afternoon. When I can I try to capture that nice light. And my daughter is eating her apples and "caramel" right now (early release this week) - and mommy scarfed one down this morning (so good). It's a lovely combination indeed.

  • Heather @Gluten-Free CatNovember 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Oh delicious and so beautiful! I can't believe three little ingredients will make such a divine caramel sauce! Brilliant! I am definitely going to have to whip up a batch to dip apple slices. I'm a little to klutzy to manage an apple on a stick! :) Thanks for sharing at Raw Foods Thursdays!

    1. I think you will LOVE this recipe, Heather! Let me know if you make it.

  • Yum Amber, this looks delicious! I love caramel, but cannot have cashews. :( I'll have to try it with Sunbutter sometime. I bet this would be a great layer in any raw dessert! :)

    1. Hi Lauren, yeah, almonds are totally out for me, but I can do the cashews. Sunbuttter would work. And yes, I've got some idea rolling round in the bean about how to incorporate this into raw desserts. :-)

  • Amber!
    These seriously look so amazing! Where do you get your cashews from? Do you buy them locally in CA? I need to find somewhere to get them from that's affordable. Generally it's over $12 a pound for cashews here, which is why I never buy them. :( I'll have to check out Amazon, but I was still curious if you've found them elsewhere.

    Been thinking about you... how have you been feeling? I've strayed from the grain and sugar free (stevia only) band wagon and need to get back on. I can really tell a difference in how I feel.

    I hope you and the family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! We are headed to my parent's house, which is an hour away (food, dog and all). I'm looking forward to it. ;)
    Hugs and love to you!

    1. Hi Megan,

      Well, cashews are pretty expensive here too! Organic cashews are over $12 per pound here if you can believe it. If I find them anywhere cheaper online I will shoot you a message on FB!

      And thank you for asking about my health. I'm doing much better than the beginning of the month. I was in a horrible flare that took forever to get under control (it felt like forever) - many pitiful days in bed. I ate a strict AIP diet and it helped bump be out of it. Sometimes I just have to wait for my hormones to change (often they are the culprit to flares). I feel so much better when I am grain free. And I don't really eat that much sugar, as I'm not a sweet tooth. I do notice I get a little off when I eat too much honey or maple syrup, it's like the candida flares up and I need to tame it down again. But I am feeling pretty great these days...and oh how I treasure the days. This recipe agrees with me (thankfully) It's so satisfying.

      Have a great Thanksgiving and safe travels. Sounds like quite the car full - haha!!

      Hugs to you too friend.



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