Long live the almighty date–nature’s sweetest fruit that thinks it’s a candy. With an insane 93 grams of natural fructose sugar per cup, dates crush the sugar content of other notoriously “sweet” fruits like pineapple (16g), grapes (15g) and bananas (18g) making it an ideal alternative to refined sugars.
Don’t let the numbers scare you; you’ll never eat a full cup of dates. A little bit goes a long way with these guys, and you’ll find the equivalent of less than one date in each of these turtle cups.
I like to drop dates into smoothies, eat them stuffed with almond butter and, of course, make vegan caramel. Let’s do this.
Vegan Turtle Cups
- 10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for 1 hour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 12 mini cupcake liners
- Combine dates, vanilla, salt and almond milk in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy like caramel
- Arrange cupcake liners on a pan and fill each with enough pecan pieces to cover the bottom
- Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of caramel filling into each cup
- In a bowl, combine coconut oil and cocoa powder and microwave for 30 seconds to create a chocolate sauce
- The chocolate sauce will be very thin and runny. Don’t worry; it will set up solid in the fridge once the coconut oil chills.
- Spoon chocolate sauce over each cup
- Refrigerate or freeze cups for at least 1 hour before eating
I’ve been dreaming these up for months and they turned out just the way I wanted them. Sadly, three of them met their demise in the taking of pictures for this post. RIP.