Salted date caramel

I don’t know about you…. But I love the sweet and salty combo.

Fries in milkshake? Yes please.

Ice cream and crisps? Yes please.

Caramel popcorn? I want it all.

Salted caramel rice cakes? I could eat the whole package at once.

I am a huge fan of salted caramel but I have never made or bought a vegan kind. I think I have eaten brownies with salted caramel sauce in a restaurant, but never tried making my own.

I am pretty sure it is easy to make your own… Brown, coconut milk or soya cream, vanilla and sea salt. Boil it together and make some caramel.

But as I had bought a bunch of dates and I knew date caramel was a thing I thought…. Why not try making salted date caramel?

And I can say….. it was so yummy. Of course, it was not as smooth as maybe a regular caramel sauce or a store bought one as dates has a lot of fiber and the skin is on the dates which contribute to a rougher texture. But it still tastes good.

The best is to use fresh dates, the kind that are super soft and “moist” (gotta love that word!). However, if you do use dry dates just put them in a bowl and soak in boiling hot water for 5-10 minutes, then they will become softer.

I also recommend using a highspeed food processor and not a handmixer, just because it will get the job done quicker and will make it smoother. But you can of course use a handmixer.

I used soya cream at home as that was what I had at home, but it should work fine with coconut cream (though the caramel will have a taste of coconut then) or you could use oat cooking cream.

Note, I used a sweetened soya cream which wasn’t necessary as dates are already so sweet. So I would recommend using an unsweetened cream if possible.

How to store this caramel?

I stored it in an airtight glass jar in the fridge, and it lasted about 5 days. So that is what I can guarantee, but it should store longer.

You can adapt the quantities based on how much caramel you want. You can use more liquid to thin it out, add more sweetener or salt depending on your preferences. So this is just a base recipe, but you can adapt it as much as you like. And if you do want a really thin and smooth caramel sauce I do recommend you go for a coconutmilk/brown sugar caramel sauce and not use dates.

Also, you can use less liquid and instead make more of a date caramel paste which you can use to dip apples in or even use as filling for cakes!

 

Recipe:

I used about 15-20 dates. (Use the fresh kind, if not soak in boiling hot water)

Around 200-300ml soya cream/oatcream/coconut milk or cream

1-2tsp sea salt

Optional, 1tsp vanilla or brown sugar for muskiness (though the dates or so sweet this shouldn’t really be necessary)

How to:

If your dates aren’t fresh, soak them. If they are fresh then add them to a pot along with c.a 200ml liquid (add more as necessary when mixing). Heat on medium for 5-6 minutes and allow to simmer. Add 1 tsp of sea salt.

Pour of the contents into a high speed food processor and mix until smooth, or if using a handmixer, mix directly in the pot until smooth. Keep adding liquid until you have reached the right texture. (add a little at a time). Give the caramel a taste and add more salt according to preference. It is better to start off with a little and add more, rather than add too much and not know how to fix the saltiness.

Once smooth, pour over into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge!

This caramel works great to eat just as it is, or use in cake fillings or why not eat with some apples or crisp bread!

It should of course be noted that even if this is date caramel sauce, it is high in sugar and should still be considered a sweet treat!!!

Have you tried making your own date caramel sauce before…? If not, it is about time you try!!

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments down below if you made this or tag me on Instagram, itsahealthylifestyle.

Pumpkin spice peanut butter

November is pumpkin spice season…. And if i am honest, i have never actuall tried a pumpkin spice latter… or pumpkin spice anything. Or…. now when i am writing this, i think i actually have tried a pumpkin spice latte when i was in Lisabon 3 years ago.

In the U.S there seems to be pumpkin spice everything during October-December, and it hit me that pumpkin spice peanut butter would be an amazing idea. I am all about combining 1 or 2 delicious things and making it into something even more delicious.

I have posted how to make your own peanut butter HERE, as well as a video on my instagram. It is super simple, and you can make it just using peanuts, but i personally add a little oil and salt to get the right texture. As well as roasting the peanuts before hand to give more flavour.

You can of course make this spice mix and use in other dishes, such as PS oatmeal which i made and it was delicious. Or why not make some PS cookies, or some PS nice cream. You can also make this using another nut such as almonds or cashews. I just used peanuts as that was what i had at home.

If you want alot of spice mix, i recommend you double this recipe. As i was just trying out this spice mix combo i just made a small batch, but it did disappear a little too quickly so need to make a new batch!

Pumpkin spice mix:

2,5tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp gingerpowder
1,5 tsp nutmeg (powder)
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp clove (powder)

Mix together and store in a container or small spice jar.
To make the peanut butter i used 400g salted and roasted peanuts. Added to a food processor, along with 2tbsp pumpkin spice.

Mix until crumbly/almost smooth and then add a little neutral oil to thin it out.

Mix until the desired consistency!

(Note, you can add a little brown sugar or vanilla if you want to make your PB sweet 👌 you can also make this using another nut!)

Store in a clean glass container. Try to avoid double dipping i.e use a clean knife/spoon, this is to avoid bacteria growth in the peanut butter! Should store fine up to 2 weeks in the fridge… if you don’t use the oil it won’t store as long.

And there you have your own pumpkin spice peanut butter…. eat, enjoy and don’t forget to let me know if you try making it!

Chocolate aquafaba mousse

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Aquafaba… the liquid from a tetrapack of chickpeas, this often forgotten about and wasted food.

Nutritionally, it doesn’t add a lot… mostly sodium if you use aquafaba from salted chickpeas. However, it sure adds a lot when cooking or baking, such as being a good binder when it comes to breading foods. But even works great in pancakes, waffles, bread.

I have a post about aquafaba, what it is and what you can do with it which  you can read HERE.

In this post, I am instead going to share the recipe for a chocolate mousse made from aquafaba.

When you think of mousse, the first thing you think about isn’t exactly “chickpea water”… but after you make this recipe you won’t be wanting to waste aquafaba again.

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Granted…. A chocolate mousse made from whipped soy cream or coconut cream might have more of a creamy texture, but this mousse is still tasty for what it is. And even if you may be sceptical… if you have the ingredients at home… give this a try.

I do recommend that you use aquafaba from unsalted chickpeas…however if you only have salted then you may need to add a bit more vanilla and sugar to override the salt.

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So onto the recipe… because that is what you are all here for:

240ml aquafaba (roughly all the aquafaba from one can of chickpeas)

1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar (this helps make the aquafaba stiffen and form peaks)

100g vegan chocolate, melted

1-2tbsp coconut milk (or other plantbased milk)

c.a 2tbsp sugar or stevia (depending on which chocolate you use, if it is vegan milk chocolate you may just want to use 1tbsp sugar).

Optional: Pinch of vanilla, pinch of sea salt if the aquafaba isn’t already salted.

Optional: Top with some banana, peanut butter and berries

How to:

First, make sure that the whisk and bowl you will use to whisk the aquafaba is clean and has no fat residue left in it, as this can stop the aquafaba from forming peaks, which is what you want.

Begin by melting the chocolate – as you don’t want it to be super hot when you mix it in with the aquafaba. I mix mine in a waterbath, meaning you place a plate with the chocolate ontop of a pot with boiling water. The steam and heat will melt the chocolate – stir occasionally. However, you can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, doing it in 20 second intervals to avoid burning the chocolate. Add 1-2tbsp coconut milk to the chocolate, as that will keep it smooth and keep from hardening into a hard chocolate block again.

In the meantime, begin whisking the aquafaba. The best is to use an electric whisk, and then it will take about 5 minutes. By hand it can take around 10 minutes. Note, add some lemon juice or vinegar when mixing as this will help the aquafaba to stiffen.

After about half the time, add the sugar and keep whisking. The aquafaba is done once it has “peaks”, and you should be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything spilling/falling out.

Add in the melted chocolate, being careful to fold it in and not whisk or mix too hard. Note, the mousse will lose some of it’s peaks and stiffness, but that is ok. Just don’t overmix.

Then, either place that bowl into the fridge or pour into your desired mousse forms/cups and then place into the fridge overnight or for atleast 2-3 hours. This will help the mousse set.

Once done, eat and enjoy and make this a weekly dessert because it tastes so good!!

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If you do try this recipe, let me know what you think…. . I personally really like it, but maybe that is just me!

Remember, you can add some liquorice powder, vanilla powder or chilli to add extra flavour to this mousse!!

Carrot cake overnight oats

Carrot cake… who doesn’t love it.

Of course… it doesn’t seem to be socially acceptable to eat carrot cake for breakfast… but with this meal, it is ok to do that!!

Carrot cake overnight oats… perfect to prepare the night before and have ready for breakfast or snack the next day. No excuses to skip breakfast or snacks!

To make this more like carrot cake you can make a cream cheese mix to top with, or use some soya yoghurt and mix with some ginger, cardamom, vanilla and sweetener!

 

 

Cake for breakfast? Well if it’s carrot cake overnight oats 🖐😍🥕 Also baked carrot cake oats is even better if i say so myself 😏


RECIPE:

3 grated carrots
270g rolled oats
950ml liquid ex. Water soya milk, coconut milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
Sweetener of choice (sugar/stevia/syrup)
Pinch of cinnamon.
Pinch of vanilla.
Pinch of ginger.
Pinch of cardamom.
Pinch of ginger.
Walnuts. Raisins. Coconut.
Optional, banana.

How to:
In a bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (leave some raisins, walnuts and coconut to top the oats with later!). Add the liquid and mix. Note, the oats will absorb the liquid overnight!

Place in tye fridge for 6-8 hours. Note, if you can mix the oats after half the time (add more oats/liquid if necessary!)
Also top with a cream cheese frosting for extra carrotcake vibes 😍🥕🙌

Definitely give this recipe a try! And you can see how i made this on my instagram, itsahealthylifestyle

Almond butter nicecream

Nice cream is mostly a summer food for me…. During winter in Sweden it is far too cold to eat nice cream. Instead it is all about the warm meals and warm breakfasts.

But  i don’t fully want to accept that summer is over, so making nice cream to try to prolong the summer feelings. All that is missing is the watermelon, haah. But i also have to accept that i have eaten my last watermelon for this year.

So what is nice cream…. well it is basically frozen bananas mixed smooth so that it tastes like ice cream. And it is vegan hence why many people call it “Nice” because it doesn’t include dairy… also it tastes nice, hahah.

I personally haven’t met anyone who has tried nice cream and said they don’t like it. Of course some people who are huge fans off dairy ice cream will say that it isn’t ice cream and doesn’t taste like ice cream. And they are right…. but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. It is still sweet, cold and creamy. And if you add in coconut cream and other extras such as cookie dough, brownie pieces, nuts, oreos you can make it sweeter and more like ice cream.

Justmixing frozen banana into “Nice cream” isn’t the same as eice cream. But if you add in all the extras it makes it so much better!!!

So if you haven’t already bought a food processor, it is about time you invest in one… hahah.

I have one from Philips which works great for me so far, you can see the mixer i use HERE (affiliate link to Amazon):

 

 

How to make the almond butter:

Roast almonds in the oven for 5 minutes with some salt. This is totally optional, you can use unroasted and unsalted almonds. But i personaly prefer the taste of roasted almonds and i am a huge fan of salt.

Then, in a highspeed food processor or mixer add the roasted almonds and begin mixing. If you didn’t already salt, you can add a little salt for flavour along with 1-2 tablespoons neutral oil. The oil is optional and t works fine without adding oil, but if you don’t have a super high speed blender then it may be necessary to add some oil to help make it more liquid and the right texture.

How to make the nice cream:

Ingredients:

2-3 bananas

1-2 tablespoons almond butter

50ml coconut cream – optional

Extra almonds for crunch

Optional, taste such as vanilla or cinnamon

How to:

Peel and dice the bananas. Place in a container and freeze overnight. The good thing is that you can dice alot of bananas and freeze all at once and store them there until you want to make nice cream or smoothies.

My best tip is to freeze 1-2 bananas (diced) in seperate freezer bags because otherwise it can be hard to just use some of the diced bananas if they are all frozen in the same container.

Before making the nice cream, take the bananas out of the freezer and defrost for 10 minutes.

Then, add everything into a mixer of food processor. Mix until smooth. Add some extra almonds into the nice cream for some crunch!

The tastes and flavours of nice cream you can make vary endlessly …. peanut butter. Chocoate. Salted caramel. Mango. Toffee. Berry flavoured. Or why not add some nuts, cocokie dough pieces or brownie pieces to the mix.

 

Do you have any favourite nice cream flavours, or any suggestions fo rme to try?