Chocolate oat caramel cups with an oat crust, creamy caramel center, and dark chocolate cap. Perfect healthy breakfast or snack, no bake, vegan, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free and vegan, and made of rolled oats, almond flour, dates and dark chocolate!
Chocolate Oat Caramel Cups
These chocolate oat caramel cups have everything I love: chocolate, oats, almond flour and dates. And can you imagine, the top is a chocolate bar! Beneath that a nutritious cream made from dates, and all that is sitting on top of a cookie-like crust featuring my favorite flour, fine-ground almond, and gluten-free oats.
Actually, even though this recipe has many ingredients, I like to think of it as an ode to the date.
Dates Can Replace Caramel Sauce
Because dates are the easiest path to a healthy caramel. Put down that jar of sugar-laden processed chemicals from the ice cream aisle at the grocery store. Instead, replace unhealthy caramel with soaked dates to create a healthy caramel.
You can just soak and blend the dates within the recipe, or blend up a date paste that you keep ready in the refrigerator.
I have the perfect date paste recipe here.
Here is Some Background On Dates
Dates, specifically medjool dates, are a bit of work but the payoff is such high nutrition that I personally think they are worth it.
Do you know what dates bring to the table? Well, I’ll tell you!
They are rich in protein so an excellent workout snack for muscle support and recovery. They are high in vitamins such as A,B, C and D so among other benefits, they support your skin’s elasticity, and put a drag on aging by blocking the accumulation of melanin.
Dates are also high in minerals that support bone healthy, and potassium so supports nervous system, and iron, and fluorine for teeth protection.
Finally, a few dates a day are said to boost your digestive system and alleviate constipation.
Besides, all these health benefits, they are excellent additions to no-bake snacks as fiber-filled binders and healthy plant-based sweeteners.
But Dates Have A Few Negatives Too
Still, things aren’t all rosy in the date garden.
They aren’t always easy to find in the grocery store, and they are a bit of high maintenance in the prep department, having to be pre-soaked in order to be blendable.
That’s why sometimes you’ll see recipes billed as “no-date”. I have one popular one here! My Date Free Protein Balls. People love it when they can’t find dates at the market, or they are too expensive, or they don’t have time for the overnight soak.
Me and other recipe developers going date-free tend to replace the dates with maple syrup, another plant-based sweetener that is delicious and easy to work with, although not nearly as nutritious as the glorious date.
But I did it for these to make a showcase date recipe, and the extra work was worth it, they are delicious!
How to Make These Chocolate Oat Caramel Cups
1. Process together crust ingredients, and press into a cupcake tin.
2. Blend up the center layer, a caramel cream made from dates, almond butter and more.
3. And top with melted dark chocolate. Freeze for 2 hours or until solid, and eat or freeze to store.
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Chocolate Oat Caramel Cups
- 1 12-cup mini cheese cake pan with removable bottoms (I used this brand
- Night before, pit your dates, and put them in water in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
- Blend almond flour, oats, oil, and syrup.
- Press into a mini-cup pan or into mini-cupcake papers.
- Blend dates, butter, oil and salt.
- Spoon onto crust, smooth with spoon.
- Break up the chocolate bars and microwave chunks in 45-second intervals, stirring in between.
- Spoon onto the cream, and tap pan to even off the melted chocolate layer.
- Freeze 2-4 hours or longer.
- Remove from freezer about 20 minutes before you want to eat them.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.