Have you ever tried Dates?
No, not dating, which I’m guessing most of you have tried. But Dates, as in Medjool Dates.
Medjool Dates are a type of fruit that originate in North Africa and the Middle East, and tend to grow in hot & arid climates. And they’re pretty much Nature’s sweetest candies.
You know how you always hear people claiming that fruit is nature’s candy? Well, Medjool Dates are basically nature’s caramels! If you’ve ever had caramel before, whether it be a caramel apple or simply a caramel candy, you know that it’s one of the most addicting flavors out there. You can’t just stop at one caramel. Or two for that matter. And recently, it seems like “salted caramel” has become all the rage, making caramel even more common on the market, and therefore more irresistible.
Salted caramel is pretty much caramel taken to the next level. By adding a pinch of salt, the extreme sweetness of caramel is balanced out to create a practically perfect mixture of salty & sweet. Basically, imagine kettle corn and you’ve got pretty much the gist of salted caramel.
When I found a 2lb container of Medjool Dates at Costco this past week, I knew it was finally time for me to take my favorite recipe for The Ultimate Fudgy Brownies up a notch. Once I’d popped these brownies in the oven, I got to work on making a Salted Caramel “Glaze”. I simply combined Medjool Dates and sea salt in a food processor, along with a little hot water, and was able to easily create the most decadent caramel sauce you’ll ever taste. Both sweet & salty, this glaze is practically heaven on earth. And when smoothed over warm brownies fresh from the oven, Oh my Lord the result is no less than divine.
Luckily, the recipe creates 16 brownies. And since they’re gluten free, dairy free, and pretty much guilt-free, I don’t have an excuse not to share them with family & friends.
At least, that’s what I’ve convinced myself so that I don’t devour the whole batch!
Healthy Salted Caramel Brownies
- 3 tbs softened coconut oil
- 1 c stevia
- 1/4 c applesauce
- 1 large egg (or 1/4 c egg whites)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 c old fashioned oats
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 c plus 2 tbs milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 c chocolate chips
- 15 Medjool dates (about 1/2 c)
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor or blender, process the oats until they’ve reached the consistency of oat flour. In a large bowl, beat applesauce, coconut oil, and stevia until smooth. Add vanilla extract, milk of choice, and egg, and stir until combined. Melt half the chocolate chips and stir into the wet mixture. Mix in oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Grease an 8×8 pan and fill with batter. Bake for 19-21 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out almost completely clean.
Meanwhile, fill a small bowl with hot water and place each date in it after pitting it. Once all the dates have been pitted, remove from the water and place into a food processor. Add the sea salt and process until smooth. Add extra warm water, as needed to reach a smooth consistency. Once brownies have been removed from the oven, scoop on caramel glaze. Smooth with the back of a spatula and let cool completely before cutting into. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 16 servings)