Creamy chocolate and date chia pudding and an easy coconut caramel sauce make the most lusciously healthy Vegan Salted Caramel & Chocolate Swirl Popsicles free of dairy and refined sugar.
Prep Time: 45minutes
Chilling time: 1hour
Servings: 6-8 servings
Vegan Caramel Sauce:
1(14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen)
1/2cup(75 g) coconut sugar
1/2vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
1/8teaspoonfine sea salt
1tablespoon(15 ml) coconut oil
flaky salt, for sprinkling
6large or 8 smaller medjool dates, pitted, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained, water reserved
Date soaking water from above, plus more to make 1 1/2 cups (355 ml)
1/4cup(60 ml) cashew butter (such as Artisana Raw Cashew Butter)
5tablespoons(35 g) raw cacao powder or natural cocoa powder
1/8teaspoonfine sea salt
1teaspoonvanilla paste or extract
1/4cup(40 g) chia seeds (I used white seeds)
Make the caramel:
In a medium-small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar, and vanilla pod and scrapings. Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, simmering gently and stirring frequently with a flexible heat-proof spatula, for 30 minutes. The caramel should be thick and saucy like warm caramel or butterscotch sauce. Stir in the fine salt and coconut oil. Transfer to a heat-proof jar and chill at least 1 hour. If the sauce gets too cold, warm it to a pourable consistency before proceeding.
Make the chocolate mixture:
In the bowl of a sturdy blender, combine the soaked dates, water, cashew butter, cacao powder, fine salt, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Stir in the chia seeds and let sit 30 minutes to thicken the seeds, then puree again on medium-high until very smooth. Add a splash more water if the mixture has trouble blending.
Make the popsicles:
Starting with the chocolate mixture, layer all of the chocolate and half of the caramel into 6 or 8 (3-ounce) popsicle molds in 3 or 4 layers, alternating a big spoonful of chocolate with a small spoonful of caramel. Chill the popsicles for 1 hour, then add popsicle sticks and freeze until solid, at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, remove the popsicles from their molds and drizzle with caramel (warmed to a pourable consistency) and a few small pinches of flaky salt and serve immediately.
I've included a double batch of the coconut caramel sauce so that you'll have plenty extra to drizzle over your pops, swirl into yogurt or ice cream, lick off of spoons, and enjoy in and on everything.Recipes adapted barely from Glow Pops.Nutritional values are based on one of six servings.