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Oil Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce Recipe

It is so easy to make this Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce!  There’s no cooking required and you don’t need to use (or more-importantly clean) your blender or food processor.  

This recipe is perfect for when you’re wanting a little something extra for dipping your fresh fruits (my favorite is crispy apple slices).  It’s also a healthy, vegan, no-oil, whole-food alternative for caramel that’s called for in another dish or recipe that you’d like to make.  And it takes banana nicecream to the next level!

Also, this Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce works wonderfully as a quick and healthy icing or frosting alternative–you can see it at work in my Samoa cookie recipe here!

Step by step images for how do you grind dates without a mixer

How do you grind dates without a mixer?

The best way to get a smooth consistency with your dates without using a blender or food processor is to utilize a fine mesh strainer (also known as a sieve). 

The first step is to soak your dates in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.  Then, once the dates are softened, you add them to the strainer with a bowl underneath.  Finally, you use a spatula or spoon to push the soaked dates down against the mesh.  Scrape and press until all the fibers are flattened and a smooth sauce will gather in the bowl underneath.

You may want to use your spoon or spatula under your sieve to help extract more of the sauce.

And voila!  You’ve just made an easy, lower-mess, simple date syrup or paste.

While this Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce has some additional ingredients, you can omit those to make a homemade no-blender-needed date syrup or paste using this simple technique.

In this recipe I give instructions for a quicker “heat and soak” method using your microwave or the more traditional hot water method.

No blender date caramel sauce components

How do you prevent food waste with this recipe?

The beauty of this Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce recipe is that you don’t have to waste a thing!  Actually you’ll enjoy two yummy components after straining the mixture.

While the main result is that creamy and smooth date caramel, the “by product” is a thicker fiber-filled date paste.  It’s more like a dollop of goodness as it measures out at about 1 tablespoon.

This is where you find all that extra-good-for-you fiber.  I love to eat it with a few slices of apple or spread over a half banana.  And, honestly, who doesn’t appreciate a surprise yummy treat while they’re making a new recipe?

Salted Caramel Variations

When I developed this recipe I tried it with and without the white miso paste and at varying levels.  I happen to think adding 1/4 tsp. of the white miso gives a nice balance to the natural sweetness of this sauce but it tastes amazing without it too.

If you’d prefer more of a slated caramel taste, you’d want to increase the miso paste to 1/2 tsp.  And you can always adjust to taste by whisking in more later if you think it needs it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if you make this recipe once you’ll be making it again so you can always experiment with this yourself over time.

How do I store Vegan Date Caramel Sauce?

Keep your Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce in a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.  Make sure to select a jar or container that fits your amount of sauce best.  Keeps for up to 9 days in your fridge.

How can I enjoy this recipe?

What substitutions can I make?

  • If you have a cashew allergy you can sub with almond butter.
  • If you have a nut allergy you can sub the cashew butter with 1 tsp. tahini.
  • Use any unsweetened plant milk you like.
5 from 1 vote
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Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce

This Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce requires no cooking and you don't need to use your blender or food processor!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword no blender, no cook, nutritarian, oil free
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 40.4 kcal
Author Kristen Hong

Ingredients

  • 38 grams medjool dates about 3 smaller dates
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ Tbsp unsweetened almond milk or other plant milk
  • ½ Tbsp raw cashew butter unsalted
  • ¼ tsp white miso paste optional

Instructions

  1. Chop the dates and place in a microwave-safe bowl. See notes for microwave-free instructions.

  2. Microwave the chopped dates and water for 30 seconds, remove and mix well. Microwave for an additional 20 seconds and remove. The chopped dates will soften and the water will turn a caramel color.

  3. Add almond milk, cashew butter and optional miso paste if using. Stir mixture well.

  4. Place your strainer over a small bowl and add the heated mixture on top of the strainer.

  5. Using a spoon or spatula scrape the heated date mixture along the bottom of the strainer and repeat until all liquid has been strained through and you are only left with the date skins.

  6. Scrape along the bottom of the strainer to get all the date sauce. Reserve the date skins (see notes for hoe to enjoy).

Recipe Notes

To make this recipe without using your microwave simply boil 1/4 cup of water and set shopped dates to soak in the boiled water for 5 to 10 minutes.  

There will be about 1 Tbsp. leftover date skin "residuals" from the straining process.  Don't throw it away!  It tastes amazing with crispy apples or spread on a half banana.  

 

STORAGE: Keeps for up to 9 days in your fridge in a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.  Make sure to select a jar or container that fits your amount of sauce best.  

 

Nutrition facts shown with optional 1/4 tsp white miso paste included.  

Nutrition Facts
Oil-Free Vegan Date Caramel Sauce
Amount Per Serving (2 Tbsp)
Calories 40.4 Calories from Fat 11
% Daily Value*
Fat 1.2g2%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Sodium 12.2mg1%
Potassium 79.5mg2%
Carbohydrates 7.8g3%
Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugar 6.5g7%
Protein 0.6g1%
Calcium 10.7mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

I’d love to know what you think if you give this recipe a try.  Please leave a comment or recipe rating or, better yet, BOTH!

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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Discussion

  • Sue says:

    This recipe is absolutely delicious!!! I used it as a dip for apple slices and loved it! Thanks for this recipe!!!