Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vegan Caramel Three Ways

Vegan caramel three ways. Vegan caramel three ways. Should I say it again?

I could. I am a little sleep deprived at the moment and having trouble focussing. The elf has recently dropped her daily naps and I am solo parent with the husband on site for work a lot. I could boo-boo in to my britches however, I have contributed to my own fatigue. I am on a Gilmore Girls bender. I don’t know how it happened. I started watching old episodes in a bid to cling back some “me time” at night with the elf going to bed earlier but it has backfired, I am a Gilmore addict now. Doh! Damn that Lorelei and Rory. And that stupid Stars Hollow.
It’s OK though. I have regrouped enough from Rory being dumped by Jess to bring you vegan caramel three ways. It was tough I tell you. I was just getting over Dean…

These three vegan caramels are distinct. Each one has its own personality and is suitable for different uses. Date caramel is thicker and naturally sweeter than the others and is the easiest to make in a pinch.

I use the fruit caramel in the elf’s yoghurt for a sweet treat. Being made from pears (I have used apple also) it is, well…fruity. It is lovely spooned over ice-cream or swirled through “creams”. My inner kitchen ninja developed this one – I wanted to create a caramel that I could at least say had fruit in it for the elf. Guilt assuaged. However, for the purists, you can’t go past the coconut milk vegan caramel. It is the cat’s pyjamas. It is my favourite simply because it is naughty and decadent. Even photographing it was a challenge. There were a few swoon moments. Who would have thought a vegan caramel could make your knees shake? It may be  fatigue but my inner cheerleader wants to believe it was my cooking. You know what, let’s just go with that.
These vegan caramels are sweet, naughty and delicious the way caramel should be. Super easy to make they are a sweet tooth’s dream. Enjoy, x.

10 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup almond milk (optional for creaminess)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
water as needed

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth
Add water as needed to help combine 1 tablespoon at a time
Keep in the fridge for 3 – 5 days

2 pears, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons coconut oil, separated in to 2 and 1
1/4 cup coconut or any unprocessed sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small pan.
Add the cubed pears and stir.
Add the coconut sugar and stir well. Turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
Put the pear mixture, a tablespoon of coconut oil, the maple syrup and vanilla in a processor and blitz until smooth.
Keeps in the fridge but will need to be reheated in a pan to refresh.

1 400 ml can of coconut milk
1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for around 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before using. Stores in the fridge, covered for 5 days.

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