These caramel macchiato popsicles are healthy enough for breakfast. High in protein and fiber, they are great for controlled weight-loss because they are so filling. And a delight to eat with the surprise ripples of date caramel and nutella fudge sauce. Refined-sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free.
These healthy caramel macchiato popsicles are a filling breakfast or snack option. Most of the nutrition comes from the protein in cashews and fiber from dates.
But then there is that secret sauce. A secret hazelnut sauce, if you will. A clever little mix that add a ripple of healthy nutella right in the middle of your popsicle. That's the kind of daily surprise I wait for in life, haha.
How to Make
It's easy! Just soak unsalted and raw cashews overnight and blend up into a cashew cream sauce. Add a few other ingredients to make the creamsicle mixture and you've nailed it!
How Healthy are Cashews?
Since cashews make up the base of these popsicles, just how healthy are cashews?
Cashews are a useful source of protein, although almonds and walnuts have slightly more. Still, what cashews have a lot of are vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system.Mostly, they are high in vitamins E, K and B-6, as well as minerals copper, and phosphorous.
This means cashews supply many nutrients that the body needs to function. Plus, they are especially high in magnesium. Magnesium supports melatonin which regulates sleep and serotonin which regulates mood. So this pop can affect sleep and mood.
In my book, this is a big win. So this cashew cream base is the base of this creamsicle. What makes up the caramel chocolate ripple?
How to Make a Healthy Vegan Caramel?
That's easy to answer too, date paste mixed with chocolate hazelnut butter. Date paste is simply a blending of Medjool dates, softened by soaking or boiling, and water. Blend with a high speed blender for best smooth texture. I love the Blendtec twister jar, because you wiggle the mixture while it's blending, ensuring a very smoothie blend. I demo-ed it on Instagram, check out my highlights.
The addition of chocolate hazelnut butter to the date paste makes a luscious chocolate ripple inside the creamy base. I have used both homemade chocolate hazelnut butter and store-bought.
My homemade recipe uses hazelnut flour and is actually a quick recipe since hazelnuts don't have to be peeled and roasted. You can check out my chocolate hazelnut butter recipe here. If you choose store-bought, I suggest Justin's hazelnut-almond blend. The brand is clean and responsibly sourced. The addition of almond butter is new; I am not sure why but it tastes the same to me in this recipe.
Is Date Caramel Healthier than Traditional Caramel?
Ha! Is the sky blue? Dates are super high in many vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Dates also contain antioxidants that may prevent disease. They are also considered helpful for lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which is important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Caramel Macchiato?
A caramel macchiato ala Starbucks is an espresso with vanilla milk, drizzled with caramel. To make this flavor vegan, I made caramel by soaking and blending dates into a paste. To make the flavor more "macchiato", I added vanilla and touch of brewed coffee. Dates are rich in fiber and other essential nutrients. Commercial caramel is based on refined sugar only and many carry artificial flavors and preservatives.
How to Make These Healthy Popsicles?
Start the day before, setting both the cashews and dates in water in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, blend up cashew cream, blend up dates (pit them first of course!). Mix up the cream base and pour into the mold. Mix up the ripples and add as a layer to each popsicle. Fill the mold up with the remaining cream mixture and freeze overnight. I suggest overnight freeze, not a 4 hour freeze as with other popsicle types because this is a creamy mixture and takes longer to freeze.
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Caramel Macchiato Popsicles
- 2 cups cashews, raw and unsalted
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup dates (about 7 dates) (pitted and soaked overnight in water or 1 hour in boiling water)
- ¼ cup water
Macchiato Caramel Sauce
- ½ cup date paste (see method below)
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
- 2 tbsps melted coconut oil
- pinch of salt
Nutella chocolate sauce
- Soak cashews in preparation for making the cashew cream. Add cashews to a 2-cup measuring cup and fill with water. Put the cup in the refrigerator so the cashews can soak overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the cashews.Do the same for the dates. Add them to a container, fill it with water and refrigerate overnight. The next day, rinse and pit them.
- First make cashew cream with your soaked cashews.Add them to a blender and process the cashews until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until smooth.
- Pour into popsicle mold so each unit is filled about 2 thirds.
Make Macchiato Caramel Sauce
- Mix up the macchiato caramel sauce. To do this, set up first by putting the remaining cashew cream in a measuring cup because you need to use the blender to make the sauce. Rinse out your blender jar.
- Make the date paste first. To do this, add the dates and water to the rinsed blender jar and process until smooth. That can take 3-4 minutes.
- Add the remaining Macchiato caramel sauce ingredients to the blender. Blend until creamy. Drizzle the sauce into each popsicle mold unit. Poke into each popsicle once or twice with a toothpick to create a ripple effect.
Prepare Nutella chocolate sauce
- Either make your homemade nutella sauce, or open the jar and set it into boiling water or microwave in 15 seconds increments to melt it. You then want to spoon a bit of melted nutella into each popsicle unit. Again, poke with a toothpick to create a ripple.
- Pour the rest of the cashew cream to fill each popsicle unit. Put in the freezer for 30 minutes or so, then remove and slip in sticks. I add a bit of caramel and nutella on the top some times.
- Freeze the popsicles for 30 minutes and then insert sticks. Then freeze them overnight.
Remove Popsicles from Molds
- Soak popsicle mold in hot water about 10 seconds, not getting the top wet, then tug out pops and store wrapped in parchment in the freezer. Yummy!