1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup reserved soaking water
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. sea salt
1. Soak pitted dates for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If they are dry, they may need to soak longer; up to 24 hours.
2. Combine ingredients in a small blender or food processor.
3. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
4. Store in the fridge.
The quality of your dates will make a big difference. I suggest using sticky, sweet dates rather than dry ones. The result with be much more flavorful. I've noticed the organic dates from Costco are quite dry and flavorless.
It will thicken up a bit as it chills in the fridge. It's perfect over banana crepes, apples, fruit, or a "healthier" ice cream. If you want a thicker sauce, add less coconut milk.
You can use water in place of the coconut milk, but it won't be as creamy. You can also use all coconut milk in place of the water, which will yield a creamier caramel that's lighter in color and flavor.