Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae (Paleo and Vegan)

Omg… It has been so ridiculously HOT here this past week. I’m talking well over 100, multiple days in a row. A couple of days it was like 107/108 and one day it was even over 110! It’s been miserable! But, hot summers do have a silver lining… Cool treats.

So, the other day I was forced to go outside in this God awful weather to run errands and about half way through, as I was debating the consequences of leaving my life and family behind so I could live in a more reasonable climate, it hit me! A craving for ice cream! After that it was all I could think about. 

Unfortunately, “regular” ice cream leaves me about as drained as this 100+ degree sun. It has been known to give me a tummy ache as well as zap my energy levels. So I decided, instead, to make this gem of a recipe! It’s my Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae!

I am OBSESSED with all things salted caramel. You know how most girls are all about the pumpkin spice? #basic. Kidding, I don’t judge, you do you girl! Or guy. Well, I am not one of those girls. Come fall time when everyone else is getting their pumpkin spice latte, I order the salted caramel mocha EXTRA SALT PLEASE AND THANK YOU. I love it so much. But screw waiting for fall, give me that shiz ALL YEAR ‘ROUND! Especially during these hot summer days because nothing is more satisfying than the contrast between some super cold, creamy, ice cream and the warming, sweet and salty, nutty flavors of the caramel, and some crunchy pecans… Are you drooling too? Just me? 

Anyway, not only is this recipe super delicious, it is totally Paleo, Vegan, and has absolutely no dairy or refined sugar. Not to mention it is so simple to make! Only a handful of ingredients, all of which are easy to find now of days, and hardly any prep time.

I want to share a few notes about this recipe before we get started… First of all, make sure you get coconut CREAM not milk. For a good creamy, rich, ice cream it’s important to have that fat content. I also think the cream is more “sweet”. Probably because it has more of the actual fruit in it. So, you don’t need to add a ton of sweetness or sugar to it.  

I, personally, love this recipe because it is SO SIMPLE! Just mix and freeze. No churning. BUT if you prefer that “churned” texture and have an ice cream maker this recipe may work as long as you follow the directions of your machine. BUT I cannot say for sure since I have never tried it. I’m just too lazy and I think the ice cream turns out just fine the way I do it 😉

Do not be alarmed by the color of the caramel! It will look darker than a typical caramel sauce. This is because coconut sugar is naturally a little bit darker than brown sugar and also because we are not adding any cream/dairy to it. It will come out looking a little more like chocolate sauce than caramel. BUT the taste is AMAZING! Just as good, no, scratch that…BETTER than regular caramel sauce! And so easy to make!

So the next time it is so effing hot that you’re about to go into a psychotic rage, make this recipe instead! You won’t regret it! I’m sure your family will appreciate it as well.

SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM SUNDAE

Ingredients:

Makes 3-4 servings

Ice Cream:

1 14 oz can coconut cream 

1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

Toppings (optional):

Pecans (or your favorite nut)

Extra sea salt

Instructions:

Place dates in a small bowl and cover with very warm tap water. This will soften the dates and make them easier to blend.

Pour coconut cream into a small sauce pan and place over medium heat until just warm, about 4-5 minutes.

Drain your dates. 

Pour the warmed cream, soaked dates, vanilla and sea salt in a blender. Process until dates are fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container and place it in the freezer for roughly 5-7 hours.

While the ice cream freezes, combine the coconut sugar and water in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, stirring continuously so the sugar does not burn. Continue to simmer and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced down to a syrup consistency. You can test this by placing a spatula in the syrup. If the back of the spatula stays coated and you and the mixture does not run off, you’re good.

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency, turn off your heat and add the vanilla and sea salt. Stir to combine.

Pour your caramel into a heat safe container, cover, and allow to cool. It will thicken even more as it cools.

Once it’s ready, scoop your ice cream into a bowl (if you’re greedy like me) or bowls (if you’re willing to share) and top with caramel sauce, nuts and more sea salt. Serve immediately and enjoy!