You don’t need dairy or corn syrup to make delicious, chewy caramel. This recipe uses healthy substitutes for butter, cream, corn syrup, and granulated sugar. Check out the ingredients list and see for yourself. I’m sure you’ll be sold on the alternatives, too. There is a slight flavor of coconut, but I swear you won’t care. Even coconut haters enjoy this caramel.
What Makes This Recipe Healthier?
Coconut milk and coconut oil (instead of heavy cream and cows butter) = tons of antioxidants and you avoid another mammal’s milk.
Turbinado sugar (instead of granulated sugar) = less chemical processing.
Brown rice syrup (instead of corn syrup) = avoidance of GMO corn and if you use organic, it’s another bonus. The flavor of brown rice sweeter is better than corn syrup.
Links You May Enjoy:
Chocolate Coating (for dipping caramels)
Corn-Free Caramel Recipe (if you can tolerate dairy and sugar)
Dairy-Free Caramel Recipe
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1-3/4 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon gluten free brown rice syrup Lundberg, organic or not
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
- Oil or gluten-free olive oil spray for pan
Line an 8-inch square pan/dish with parchment paper so that it goes up all four sides at least halfway. Oil the parchment paper; set aside.
To a small saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, coconut oil, and salt. Heat until the coconut oil melts; set aside.
In a heavy, 3-quart saucepan, add the turbinado sugar and brown rice syrup. Slowly pour in the water without splashing anything onto the sides of the pan. (You want to prevent sugar from crystalizing.) Cook over medium-high heat until it boils. Carefully stir the center of the sugar, again, without splashing anything onto the sides of the pan. Cook for 5 to 15 minutes or until an instant read or candy thermometer reaches 248°F.
Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and make sure the coconut milk and oil is warm/hot. Pour the coconut mixture into the sugar mixture and stir gently to combine, avoiding any splashing on the sides of the pan. If you do splash, use a moist paper towel to wipe it down. Return the saucepan to the burner and cook over a medium-high to high heat until the temperature reaches 248°F, 13 – 17 minutes. (There is no need to stir the sauce other than to prevent it from boiling over in the beginning.) To test its texture, see drop a little into a glass of cold water.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared pan, and set aside to cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until just firm enough to slice without the caramel sticking to the knife. If it sticks, chill longer. If you chill it too long, it will be too hard to cut or chew.
Once cool, cut the caramel into squares or rectangles and wrap each piece in a small sheet of wax paper, twisting the ends closed. Alternatively, use in your favorite dessert recipes.