I have just noticed how many sweet posts I seem to do! Hmmm ...... it's not hard to see where my interest really lies!
I seem to go through weeks where, yes, an apple will do (or a smoothee); and then weeks where I am searching for a sweet high, reminiscent of some of my favourite childhood treats - like caramello koalas :-). Partly it's a challenge: to see if I can enjoy the things I loved, while still not poisoning myself with sugar. And, partly, it's because I still see sweet stuff as a reward.
So, in my search for a caramel sauce replacement, I found it very difficult to find one without dairy in it. There was some bizarre ones that I wasn't willing to try, but this recipe worked well, and although not a dead ringer for the toffee caramel sauce of old, it provides that supreme sweet hit, without the massive blood sugar slump afterwards.
Raw Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup raw cashew butter (I used almond,brazil & cashew butter - which explains all the "flecks" in the sauce)
1/2 cup dark agave syrup
1/2 cup date paste (mejool dates soaked till softened, then processed with some of the water till smooth, don't use too much water as this will affect the thickness of the sauce)
1 vanilla bean scraped (or 2 tbsp vanilla extract)
pinch of sea salt
Put all the ingredients in the processor and blend till smooth. I would start off with less agave syrup and adjust for sweetness at the end. I really found this SWEET, so go easy!
The First way you can eat this is as a dip - fantastic with sliced banana, apple or even pineapple.
The Second way I had it, and I'm sorry there's no photo but it was so delicious I ate it really fast, was as a topping over grilled nectarines with toasted nuts sprinkled on top. Worthy of any dinner party! I have also had it over my banana soft serve & over my cocolicious chocolate icecream - fantastic. I reckon this would make an admirable substitution over a date cake too, for a much healthier version of sticky date pudding. See here for a good maple & date cake.
The Third way:
Coconut, Caramel Bananas
Put 1/2 cup of caramel sauce with 1/2 cup of coconut cream in a small pot and heat gently. Add 2 sliced bananas and simmer for 5 mins till softened. Top with toasted macadamia & coconut flakes. This is such a decadent and delicious dessert - real comfort food.
I hope this has given you a few more options to play around with and I promise I will definately look into some more savoury recipes soon ........ ish.