7 Healthy Recipes That Prove Salted Caramel Isn't Just for Dessert

7 Healthy Recipes That Prove Salted Caramel Isn't Just for Dessert

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Move over sugar, spice, and sprinkles. Salted caramel has quickly taken the culinary world by storm as the favorite sweet and simple addition to any recipe.

From doughnuts to coffee to popcorn and everything in-between, the sweet and salty flavor makes any bite taste that much more decadent. But topping everything you can get your hands on in sugary sauce isn't exactly the best way to conquer those health goals (unfortunately).

Instead of banning all sweetness from your life, try these healthy salted caramel recipes. A little flavor goes a long way, and a little salted caramel makes for the best kind of day-trust us.

1. Salted Caramel Chocolate Mouse

Photo: White on Rice Couple

This dessert may look super indulgent, but mouse is actually pretty light-especially this recipe, where one batch makes six entire servings. To keep temptation at bay, we recommend halving the recipe or inviting friends over to help lick the bowls clean. Another tip: Use stevia or agave in place of granulated sugar-a little of both ingredients goes a long way (and does a great job minimizing the sugar).

2. Salted Caramel Overnight Oats

Photo: A BaJillian Recipes

We're huge fans of dessert for breakfast-as long as they have some nutritional value. This recipe uses heart-healthy oats, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt as a base (it calls for vanilla, but we like using plain to minimize the sugar content). And best of all: It does all the heavy lifting while you're sleeping. Simply mix the oats before bed, let 'em soak, and in the morning add the sea salt and caramel sauce. Tip: Use homemade caramel sauce instead of store-bought.

3. Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Dip

Photo: The Foodie Dietitian Blog

Greek yogurt is good for way more than the standard breakfast parfait. Here it's used as a sweet dip for healthy snacks like apples, bananas, and pretzels-or you can enjoy it all by itself. Simply whip up your own sauce (we recommend using coconut cream instead of heavy cream and halving the amount of butter), mix it with your favorite plain Greek yogurt, and drizzle to your heart's content.

4. Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

Photo: Eat In Eat Out Blog

Gluten free, dairy free, and insanely delicious, this healthy spin on chocolate bark is a great way to get some sweet without overdoing it. Made with dark chocolate, coconut sugar, coconut cream, sea salt, and gluten-free pretzels, it's basically a healthier (and more chocolate-y) version of your favorite KIND bar. You can even add dried fruit and nuts to the topping. (Just try not to eat the entire batch when it's done.)

5. Salted Caramel Almond Butter

Photo: The Honey and Figs Kitchen

Almond butter is a pantry staple. Great with everything from bananas to oatmeal to smoothies, it's an easy and nutritious way to add protein and flavor to any meal. This recipe uses salted toasted almonds and dates to sneakily create the caramel flavor, and also includes a splash of milk to ensure it's creamy-as-can-be. And we thought pumpkin spice almond butter was good…

6. Salted Caramel Protein Balls

Photo: Nadia Felsch

One of our favorite early morning workout hacks? Delicious protein balls. They're the perfect grab-and-go snack, and they keep you full for hours-whether hitting the gym or plowing through endless meetings. This batch is made with all the usual suspects-dates, maple syrup, cashews, coconut, and protein powder-and can be whipped up in a snap. Fear your alarm clock no more.

7. Salted Caramel Cookie Dough Smoothie

Photo: Running with Spoons

Though it sounds like a milkshake, this smoothie is actually super healthy. Even better: It only takes five minutes to make. Simply blend frozen bananas, rolled oats, dates, vanilla almond milk (we like unsweetened), and almond milk ice cubes, and voilà, drinkable salted caramel is served.