Food · Recipes

Spiced Sugar Free Caramel Sauce

There are two things that I want to point out in this post. One is that even the Swerve brown sugar will crystalize once your sauce cools down. The second thing is that once I figured out which sugar free sweetener to use to make my own brown sugar, it tasted like penuche candies which I LOVE.

Both caramel sauces and penuche candy call for brown sugar. Sooo I will tell you how to make your own approximation of sugar free “brown sugar”. This post will also be followed by a really great Keto friendly penuche candy recipe. Yay!

On the first attempt at the sugar free caramel sauce, I grabbed my Swerve brown sugar. What a waste of a whole bag of sweetener!

Don't use swerve brown sweetener for any caramel sauce. It crystallizes tot fast.
Caramel sauce made with Swerve brown sweetener. The first picture shows a reasonable facsimile of caramel sauce. The second picture shows how the sauce started crystallizing immediately as it started to cool down. Not too appetizing.
making Keto friendly caramel sauce with brown sugar flavor extract
Much better. This sauce is made with Xylitol granulated sweetener and a brown sugar flavor extract. Those little bubbles are from boiling the sweetener mixture.
Keto caramel sauce
This is the Xylitol sauce about three hours after cooling down. As you can see, the sauce thickened up, it darkened a bit but it stayed smooth with no crystallization to the texture.

The most important part of this sauce recipe is to make your own “brown sugar” with Xylitol and a brown sugar flavor extract. I ordered the extract online from Olive Nation. I was blown away by how many different flavor concentrates and extracts that I found online. On a side note, I also bought the marshmallow flavor concentrate which is awesome for making Keto whipped marshmallow fluff. Yum!

To make the “brown sugar” replica, use 1 tsp flavor per one cup of granulated sweetener. I used granulated Xylitol to make the mix.

Brown sugar flavor extract
Use one tsp flavor extract per 1 cup of granulated sweetener.
Making Keto friendly "brown sugar" with Xylitol
The mixed granulated sweetener with brown sugar flavor extract.

I made one cup of “brown sugar” to use in this caramel sauce recipe.

The traditional caramel sauce recipe that I found called for Corn syrup. Since I’m trying to make Keto friendly sauce, I used a Stevia sweetened pancake syrup that I bought at Safeway grocers in place of the corn syrup.

Keto Sugar Free Caramel Sauce

  • Difficulty: easy
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Make 1 cup of the “brown sugar” sweetener as outlined above.
In place of corn syrup, I used Stevia sweetened cinnamon flavored pancake syrup that I bought at Safeway grocery store.

Ingredients


– 1 cup homemade sugar free “brown sugar”. I used Xylitol granulated mixed with 1 tsp brown sugar flavor extract.
– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1/4 cup Stevia sweetened sugar free cinnamon maple flavored syrup
– 1 tbsp butter (I used salted butter)

Directions

  1. Throw everything together into a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly until the granulated sweetener has dissolved.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Let sauce cool down a bit so that you can pour it into an airtight jar.
  5. 5.Store in a pantry or cupboard. No need to refrigerate.


Use this sauce to top cakes, cookies, custard, mousse, ice cream….the choices are many! Enjoy.

Keto penuche candy
Wait till you taste the penuche candy from my recipe to follow. It’s just like the candy that I remember as a kid using her lunch money to stop at 7/11 on the way home from school. LOL.
Food

Eight Quick, Easy and Healthy Recipes for No-bake Tart Fillings

Yep, you read it right, eight quick, easy, delicious and still healthy tart fillings. My recipes are to fill approximately a dozen tart shells so, each is only for a cup of filling. You may want to double or triple all of the recipes. If you have more filling than tart cups, save it in an airtight container in the fridge. With a couple graham crackers, you can “grab and go” for a quick snack at work. Yum…they are all really good on grahams with the exception of the pears. I pop any leftovers of the diced pears right into my mouth and eat them as I’m standing. Double YUM!

Very Berry Parfait

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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graham cracker crust tart cup filled with homemade mixed jam berry and Greek yogurtThis is probably the easiest tart filling in the line-up since you most likely have all of the ingredients on hand.

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mixed fruit jam – homemade fruit sauce or store bought
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp granola for garnish

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix honey with yogurt. Then swirl the fruit sauce into the yogurt. Fill each cup and garnish with one piece of fruit – pictured is a raspberry from the sauce – or top with a fresh berry. Sprinkle a little granola on top and you are done!

Choco-rific Peanut Butter Cup

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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chocolate peanut butter tartAny of the nut butters or sun butters can be substituted for the peanut butter if you like.

  • 1/2 cup plain firm Tofu
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter – chunky or smooth
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • (optional): 1/4 cup sweetened whipped coconut cream

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients. (Using a food processor will make a smoother filling, but it’s not absolutely necessary if you don’t have one.) Fill each cup with choco-pb mix. Top with a dollop of sweetened whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of  cocoa powder for a pretty finish.

Glazed Pears

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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pear tartYou don’t even have to poach the pears for this filling. Simply dice them up and you are practically done.

  • 1/2 cup finely diced pears
  • 2 tbsp Fruit Sweet
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

In a small bowl, gently toss the diced pears with all remaining ingredients. Fill the cups and enjoy! OK, maybe THIS is the easiest filling. And probably the healthiest.

Sunny Nut

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Nutty Sun butter CrunchI LOVE a good cream cheese pastry, but, since I am trying to cut down on calories as well as dairy, I’m using Tofutti cream cheese in this cup. As far as a cream cheese to put on my bagels, it’s not bad. It’s not the real thing, but it’s a good second best. With the addition of pure almond extract and maple butter, it is heavenly. Why don’t I use almond butter then? No real reason. I just like sun butter better.

  • 1/2 Sun Butter
  • 1/2 cup Tufutti cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp maple butter (that’s just whipped maple syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • (optional) chopped almonds for garnish

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Fill the cups, top with a teeny amount of chopped almonds and enjoy!

Primarily Pumpkin

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pumpkin Pie MousseAnother Tofutti cream cheese winner. Creamy pumpkin mousse- delish!

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie mix or you will have to bake it.)
  • 1/2 cup Tufutti cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp maple butter
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp allspice or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • (optional) sweetened whipped coconut cream for topper

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Fill the cups, top with whipped coconut cream and sprinkle with a teeny bit of ground nutmeg. Enjoy!

Blueberry Blast

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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mini gluten free graham cracker tartsTo get a smooth creamy texture to this filling, you will need to get out your food processor. You can use fresh, canned or homemade blueberry sauce for this recipe. They all turn out great.

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • (optional) sweetened whipped coconut cream and fresh berries for topping

In a food processor, mix yogurt and blueberries until smooth and creamy.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the honey. Taste and adjust sweetener as necessary. Fill the cups, top with whipped coconut cream and a blueberry. 

Luscious Lemon Cream

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Luscious Lemon CreamHere is another couldn’t-be-easier recipe.

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • lemon zest for topping

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust sweetener as necessary. Fill the cups and top with a sprinkle of lemon zest

Nutty Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: fills about 12 mini cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pumpkin CashewI keep reading that soaked, raw cashews will make a really creamy base, but that didn’t happen for me. Maybe my food processor? Maybe I didn’t soak long enough? Maybe it was a full moon? I don’t know, but the results are so yummy that I didn’t even care.

Supposedly, soaking the cashews overnight will start the breakdown and make them easier to digest gaining you more nutrients. We are for that right?

  • 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp maple butter
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger or ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

In a food processor, whirl the cashews until pebbly. Add the pumpkin puree and continue processing until completely mixed and creamy. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in all of the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust sweetener as necessary. Fill the cups and top with sweetened, whipped coconut cream. Sprinkle with a teeny amount of ground nutmeg and you are ready to eat!t