Spiriteds, you won’t be able to tell by tasting it, but this Paleo Vanilla Almond Caramel Sauce was actually born out of a coffee creamer recipe mishap. I intended to replace my processed coffee creamer with a healthier paleo version. Really, I did. But as I took a sip of the new coffee + creamer combo, I spluttered. My eyes watered. What is this? I wondered. Dates, almond milk, and a little maple syrup? How could this have gone so terribly wrong? Then I started laughing because the truth is I’m a coffee lightweight. I don’t actually love coffee. I love the creamer, and I’m sticking with my processed powder until I find a tastier option.
This is truthfully a step up from my days of working in finance and trading on the stock market, when I added 10 tablespoons of liquid creamer to one cup of coffee. Yes, you’re reading that right. Now I just add two tablespoons to a large cup of coffee- okay, it’s 2.5 tablespoons. Fine. It’s three tablespoons, and they’re rounded. Go with God.
Back in the real world where people don’t dump entire bottles of creamer into one cup of coffee, I now had this recipe that was too good to pass up. I may not have liked it in my coffee, but the rich caramel flavor was simply too delicious to ignore. After reworking the recipe into a sauce, I found it pairs well with:
- Fruits (berries and apples come to mind)
- Muffins and donuts hot out of the oven
- A spoon
K-Hubs can attest to the donut thing. He ate a few Baked Vanilla Paleo Donuts drizzled in this caramel sauce and said it was ALL THINGS GOOD IN THE WORLD. I am also working on a paleo ice cream recipe for summer, and I suspect it will pair well with that, too. And if you DO decide your like it in your coffee, let me know! What you do with Paleo Vanilla Almond Caramel Sauce is limited only by your imagination.
And fortunately it takes just a matter of minutes to make, so there isn’t cumbersome prep work to impede your creative juices. I found soft Medjool dates work best, although a few dryer dates made their way into the blender, and everything turned out fine. I also like to add just 1/4 cup room-temp water if the blender starts to clog. If you want a thinner drizzle, then add a little more water until you reach the desired consistency. As for the milk, I chose almond and found it was perfect. However, you can use just about any milk you wish.
Blend ingredients together on a low speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium. I found I reached the ideal consistency when I no longer heard the crackle of dates breaking down and I couldn’t see pieces of ingredients anymore. After that, store your Paleo Vanilla Almond Caramel Sauce in the fridge out of reach of little fingers. Usually I’m the one who eats the food as I photograph, leaving little to actually work with. Oops. But this time, it was Twinkle who discovered the sauce in the fridge in between photoshoots and had a dip or two. At least we know the recipe is tasty. Twinkle approves.
And as for that cup of coffee, well, I just might try it again. And if I still can’t do it, then I’m just going to eat this stuff with a spoon. Paleo Vanilla Almond Caramel Sauce is just that good.
- 1¾ cup large dates
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup water, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt, optional
- Blend all ingredients on medium speed until smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.