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.

Vegan “brie”

This recipe has been in my drafts about 2 years…. I guess that shows how great of a blogger I am, hahah.

I was inspired to make this recipe a long time ago when I saw someone post about it in a facebook group. Only 3 ingredients to make vegan “brie”.

Before I went vegan I had a sort of love/hate relationship with brie…. Or well, I couldn’t quite decide if I liked it or not. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I didn’t. I must admit I am not a huge fan of melted cheese, neither dairy nor vegan cheese. Something about that gooey texture just isn’t for me…

I am really selling this recipe, right?

I decided it was finally time to give this recipe a go and see whether it worked or not.

Vegan cheese (preferably plain, I used Violife cheese), cream cheese (I used oatlys) and some oat cooking cream (I also used Oatly). That is all you need.

The results….? Creamy and cheesey…. A little gooey as well.

If you let the cheese sit for 24 hours in the fridge it does create a sort of thicker outer layer resembling the outer layer of brie cheese, but not quite the same texture. Of course, I haven’t eaten brie cheese in almost 4 years so I am sure if you eat brie first and then eat this remake of it, it won’t be the same. But it does have similar qualities and textures according to me.

I definitely think I can experiment more with this recipe, maybe try another cheese brand to see how it works or add flavours to the cheese such as garlic or chilli or why not some roasted walnuts. (Even though I know brie is just plain in flavour).

Give this recipe a try. I would suggest you half the recipe if you just want to try it or are just making for one person.

Recipe:

200g vegan cheese, plain

100ml oatcream

80g cream cheese

How to:

Chop the cheese into smaller pieces.

Pour the oatcream into a pot and heat on medium. Add the vegan cheese and allow to cook until the cheese begins to melt. Keep stirring. Finally add the cream cheese.

Grease a small pot/jar and pour in the cheese mix. Place in the fridge overnight, but preferably 12-24 hours. Note, you can let it sit in the fridge overnight and then in the morning turn the jar/pot over and place on a plate and naturally it will release from the jar so that you can remove the jar and cut into the brie.

Should last in the fridge atleast a week! I would suggest you keep it covered.

You can double or half this recipe depending on how much you want to make 😊 And try different vegan cheeses if you want flavour or add your own flavour if using a plain cheese.

If you try this, let me know what you think 😊 Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram(itsahealthylifestyle) or comment down below.

How to make vegan mayonnaise

Mayonnaise… either you love it or you hate…. I have never heard someone say they are “Ok” with it. It is either love or hate.

Let me know in the comments which type you are…. Though I am guessing that if you are actually looking at this recipe you are someone who loves mayonnaise and maybe wants to figure out how to make their own version to save money, or just know how to make a vegan one.

So in the past, I have seen some different ways to make mayonnaise… one based on aquafaba and another based on cashews.

I have never personally liked mayonnaise, so making my own has never been something that has occurred to me… why make something I don’t even like. Hence why I have used crème fraiche in many of my creamy salads!

But I recently learnt how to make my own vegan mayonnaise and it looked so simple so I thought… I have to give it a go. Because if it is that simple, then of course I want all of you to know how to make it yourself.

According to others who ate the mayonnaise, it is similar to the real thing… though you do want to be careful with how much kala namak you use as it gives off a very sulphur smell and taste meaning that your apartment will smell like egg/fart when you use it 😊 Just a little warning!

What is kala namak?

It is also known as himalyen black salt. Because of the components it is made up of, alot of sulphur, it gives off a very eggy smell/taste which makes it great when making tofu scramble or chickpea omelette. However it may not be the most appetizing smell.

I would also recommend you buy preground kala namak and not the hard rocks which you need to ground yourself, because there is risk that the grinder you use to grind the salt will forever smell like sulfur!

The key to make this recipe successful is:

Make sure that all the ingredients are in room temperature, if you use milk that is too cold it might not work out.

I also need to mention that I can not guarantee the results if you use another plantbased milk than soya milk, and the same goes for using another oil than olive oil. However, I am pretty sure using rapeseed oil should work fine instead of olive oil.

Use a handmixer and some type of shaker/glass. It might work in a bowl, I haven’t personally tested but you can give it a try and let me know in the comments below.

If the mixture is too loose, then just add a little more oil and keep mixing, it will thicken up.

Note, after some time in the fridge the mix may not be as “loose”, but it is just to mix it and then it is fine again. Just like with homemade oatmilk, when you store it in the fridge it is not always the same as the storebought versions that have added preservatives to keep them fresh and long lasting.

Adaptions:

Make chili mayonnaise by adding some chilli to make mix

Or why not some garlic mayonnaise… adding some extra salt and crushed garlic

Or make your own vegan aioli, with the mayonnaise as the base (Recipe example)

Chiptole mayonnaise (120ml mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1.5 tsp chipotle powder, squeeze of lime, pinch of salt)

Recipe:

Ingredients:

240ml olive oil (or rapeseed oil)

120ml soya milk – at rooms temperature

½ tsp kala namak

1tsp mustard

½-1tsp lemon juice

Pinch of salt, optional

Add chilli/garlic if you want to spice up the flavour.

How to:

Begin by adding the oil and soya milk to a jar/glass. These two won’t mix, i.e a coagulation will happen. So add the mustard along with the kala namak and lemon juice.

Then begin mixing with the handmixer. It shouldn’t take too long, c.a 2-3 minutes, but be patient.

If it doesn’t begin to thicken up add some more oil… and if necessary a little more mustard as that will help combine the oil and plantbased milk (which contains water i.e oil and water don’t mix, so you need mustard or vinegar to help with that).

If the mixture really doesn’t mix then it could be that the ingredients are too cold. However, this recipe should work if you follow the instructions 😊

If you try this recipe, let me know how it went… also if you made any adaptions to the recipe or the flavour 🙂

Homemade peanut butter

Not sure if it’s just me…. but people have always told me i shoukd make my own nut butter… but I’ve always just thought it’s too time consuming and not worth it. Not to mention that buying *good* peanut butter, i.e PB with just peanuts, a little oil and salt isn’t so expensive where i live.

So i have never really had a reason to make my own nut butter….. that was until now.

As you may have all noticed by now…. i love using my blender. And i thought…. I’ve tried frozen bananas, but the real test is how it works with nuts…. and well, it works well.

The result was a creamy peanut butter which i just want to eat by the spoonful hahha. Next time I’ll try adding some cacao and sweetener to make chocolate peanut butter.

I might even try making my own nutella… sounds amazing right? 😍👌

So…. how do you make your own peanut butter. Well it’s super simple,but does of course require a good blender or food processor!

And all you really need is 3 ingredients… or two ingredients if you use pre-salted peanuts.

I decided to use salted peanuts and roast them for 5-10 minutes prior to mixing them. Just because it brings out more flavour according to me.

I used about 300g peanuts and as you can see… it didn’t result in a huge amount of nut butter. So if you want more than what is pictured…. use more peanuts!

How to store the peanut butter?

I stored mine in the fridge and it should last 5-7 days… maybe longer but i haven’t tested myself. There isn’t really anything that should make it go bad either.

How to make the peanut butter:

Ingredients:

300g peanuts

Pinch of salt

2-3 tbsp oil of choice (go for a neutral type of oil or peanut oil)

Blender

How to:

Preheat oven to 160C

Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Pour the peanuts onto the baking tray. Don’t overfill the tray, spread the peanuts out a little.

Bake in the oven around 10 minutes, just so that the peanuts are slightly roasted.

Once roasted, take out of the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Then in your mixer, add the peanuts and begin mixing on medium-high speed. Keep mixing until a paste begins to form. Then pour in the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time and keep mixing.

Depending on whether you want creamy or crunchy peanut butter, mix until you reach your desired consistency. If you want a crunchy peanut butter you may want to use a little less oil.

Note, if you didn’t use presalted peanuts i would recommend you add 1-2tsp salt, depending on how many peanuts you are using. The best is to add 1/2 tsp salt, give it a taste and add more if necessary!

Pour the peanut butter into a jar or glass container and store in the fridge up to a week. Note, should work fine to be stored longer as well!!!

Note, you can most likely skip the oil in this recipe! You just need to mix it longer then.

Give this recipe a try… or why not try with another nut such as almond, cashew or hazelnut!

If you make your own peanut butter don’t forget to tag me on instagram and let me know! (Instagram: itsahealthylifestyle).