Exhibit D: Pumpkin Caramels!
These truffles are seriously simple! They require just 6 ingredients, are naturally sweetened, and are both vegan and gluten free.
They get a serious punch of pumpkin flavor from both pumpkin butter (or puree), and pumpkin pie spice, and the result is a decadent-but-healthy caramel rolled in roasted pumpkin seeds and sea salt. Serious yum.
If you’ve never tried date caramel, you must! Get your hands on some dates, whirl them in your food processor, add a little coconut oil (or water) until you get the creamiest, dreamiest paste that tastes seriously identical to caramel.
In addition to rolling your date caramel in pumpkin seeds and eating it as caramel bites, date paste keeps for weeks in the fridge and is ideal for adding to oatmeal, smoothies, desserts, and practically anything you want to sweeten naturally. It’s practically magic in a jar for health nuts and the sugar conscious.
The concept for these caramels came to me one night just before drifting off to sleep, as so many of my ideas do. I muttered to John, “Don’t let me forget, pumpkin caramels with dates!” so it wouldn’t escape me.
I’m so glad I remembered and gave it a go. I’ve been snacking on these for the past couple of weeks. The best part? No guilt! Dates really do hold a special place in my food-loving heart.
You’re going to love these caramels. They’re:
Infused with pumpkin
Creamy on the inside
Salty-sweet on the outside
If you give these caramels a try, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can be caramel-loving buddies together. Cheers!
Vegan Pumpkin Caramels
- 12 ounces medjool dates, pitted (12 ounces or 250 g yields ~1 1/4 cup packed // if not moist and sticky, soak in hot water 10 minutes then drain thoroughly)
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin butter* (or sub pumpkin puree)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup raw pepitas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and place raw pepitas on a baking sheet. If your dates are not sticky and moist, begin soaking in hot water now. Wait 10 minutes and then drain thoroughly.
Bake pepitas for 5-7 minutes, or fragrant and just slightly toasty. Remove set aside.
Add dates to the food processor and mix until a ball forms. Then add in pumpkin butter (or puree) and spices and mix.
While mixing, stream in melted coconut oil until a paste forms, scraping down sides as needed. If it won’t mix, add 1-2 Tbsp hot water (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) - this will depend on the size and stickiness of your dates. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
Transfer mixture to the freezer to chill/harden for at least 2 hours, preferably 4-6. You want it to be tacky enough to allow for handling and rolling into balls.
Once set, remove date caramel from freezer and scoop out rounded Tablespoons and roll between your palms to form a ball. Roll in pepitas to coat and sprinkle the tops with sea salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate and pop back in the freezer to set.
Keep these in the freezer for freshness - they won’t harden. Enjoy straight from the freezer, or let set at room temp for 5 minutes before serving.
*Find pumpkin butter at the store (check label to ensure it's vegan-friendly) or make it yourself with this amazing recipe from Oh She Glows.
*Inspiration from PBS and my 5 Ingredient PB Caramel Truffles
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 20 caramels)
- Calories: 80
- Fat: 2.8g
- Saturated fat: 1.4g
- Sodium: 47mg
- Carbohydrates: 13.9g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Sugar: 11.5g
- Protein: 1.5g