There are so many fun foodie experiments and ingredients I want to try now that I follow a plant-based diet. It’s actually pretty amazing; growing up, I always assumed that vegetarians’ and vegans’ diets were so restrictive. “What do they even eat?!” I remember asking my mom when a vegan family moved into our neighborhood (they were the talk of the town because of their dietary choices). “Eggs, milk, and butter are in everything!”
Oh, wee Alexa. How much you had to learn.
The bulk of my knowledge of vegan pantry staples comes from a general obsession with food blogs. When I’m not doing homework, sitting in class, working on organization stuff, or cooking, I am reading food blogs. It’s pretty amazing how the internet can connect so many people and ideas. I had no idea what a “Green Monster” was, why chia seeds rock, or what overnight oats were until I read about them on Oh She Glows. I never would have thunk that you could make healthy, vegan Butterfingers or chocolate frosting shots like I saw on Chocolate-Covered Katie. Angela, the author of Oh She Glows, and Katie, the author of Chocolate-Covered Katie, truly opened my eyes to the vast, flavorful world of vegan cooking. And to them I am forever grateful.
While those recipes are all fantastic, both blogs introduced me to a life-changing ingredient with which I am truly, hopelessly obsessed: coconut butter.
Have you tried this stuff? It’s basically a coconut-based peanut butter. It’s thick, creamy, slightly sweet, totally coconutty, and incredibly addictive. I love adding coconut butter to pretty much anything I can think of.
(There’s always a “But”)
The price tag on a jar of this creamy, dreamy, buttery goodness runs upwards of $10. Woah doggie. No way can my wallet keep up with the speed at which I consume this product. There must be a cheaper way I can get my coconut butter fix!
Enter: Salted Caramel Coconut Butter.
Guys…Words won’t do this spread justice. Not only am I fulfilling my coconut butter quota in a more cost-effective way, but I am trashing.it.up. for the love of all things delicious. I know. I KNOW.
We need some coconut. We need to blend said coconut into oblivion. This is coconut butter. Coconut butter truly is as simple as I just described. I start out with shredded, unsweetened coconut. I haven’t had luck with flaked coconut, so I don’t suggest that here. I usually keep my coconut in the fridge, but for this recipe, I made sure to set my coconut on the counter to warm up prior to blending. While making coconut butter can be a tad temperamental, it is SO worth it in the end. And, if I’m being completely honest with you, I picked up a bag of coconut at the store for less than $5. Cheaper. Fresher. Simpler. Done.
Our “caramel” is made out of nature’s caramel: dates! If you’re a regular on Fooduzzi, or if you spend all of 10 seconds pursuing my recipes, you’ll know that I simply adore dates. They’re naturally packed with a gooey caramely sweetness that is, in my opinion, even better than that refined sugar and butter-laden stuff. We’ll blend the dates with a bit of liquid, some salt, and a splash of pure vanilla extract. A simple vegan caramel. Um. Yes please.
Oh, dear readers. This Salted Caramel Coconut Butter is the bomb. And it’s healthy, packed with good-for-you nutrients, & WOAH… If you wanted to be totally bat-you-know-what crazy, add a bit of cocoa powder to the mix. You know what this would truly taste like? SAMOAS. IT WOULD TASTE LIKE BLENDIFIED SAMOAS. #SamoaSpread. Any way you blend it, this Salted Caramel Coconut Butter will make a killer topping to anything your heart desires. Now go forth, and blend, baby blend.
Salted Caramel Coconut Butter
|Prep:||Yield: about 1/2 cup||Total:|
You'll want this creamy, dreamy, coconut goodness on everything! Add some cocoa to the mix for a gluten free and vegan Samoa Spread!
- 2 cups room-temperature shredded unsweetened coconut
- Coconut oil (if needed to blend)
- 1/2-1 cup medjool dates, pitted*
- Date soaking water/regular water/milk (if needed to blend)
- salt to taste
- splash pure vanilla extract
- cocoa powder (optional)
- Place coconut in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides ever so often. Add coconut oil, by the tablespoon, if needed to help blend (I needed 2 tablespoons). Stop when mostly smooth.
- Add dates to the coconut butter and blend to combine. Add tablespoons of the date soaking water/regular water/milk to the mixture to help it blend into a spread. Stop when smooth to your liking.
- Add salt and vanilla, and pulse to combine. Scoop into a glass jar and spread on everything.
*If your dates aren't gooey (mine weren't) be sure to soak them in some warm water for about 20 minutes. It softens them enough to blend.
Stay classy, Internet friends!
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