Date Caramels with Bacon from Lo-So Good Cookbook on weelicious.comPin

If my husband and mother have one pet peeve about me (I’m sure there are way more than just one, but will start here), it’s that I reach for the salt shaker one too many times a day. I must have had one too many canned food products or fast food as a child because I just love that salty flavor that makes everything a bit brighter or in my case a lot brighter! It’s been one of my resolutions to cut way back and enjoy foods for their naturally delicious flavors. Often this is easier said than done, but when your life depends on it it’s a totally different matter.

Several years ago I met the incredibly lovely Jessica Goldman Foung at the Big Summer Potluck and was taken by her warmth and beauty. Only later did I find out she had been diagnosed with lupus-related kidney failure in 2004. As a cook and food lover she could have taken this as culinary purgatory, but instead turned it into a way of life that’s anything but plain and boring. In her new Lo-So Good Cookbook she shares how she transformed her eating patterns without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. Jessica helps you to understand salt and sodium and how to mimic in your cooking.

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I’ve been trying a few of Jessica’s savory recipes like her Carrot Vegetable Noodle Salad with Spicy Shrimp (not missing the salt in this one for sure), but when I saw her Date Caramels with Crunchy Chocolate Coating I knew had to make them. I have a soft spot for anything including caramel, but made with dates I was intrigued. Jessica’s recipe shows you how switching up a few ingredients like dates for sugar, coconut oil for butter and coconut milk for heavy cream makes for an addictive treat. Covered with chocolate, chopped candied ginger, crushed nuts and even her salt-free bacon (she had me at bacon!), you’re in for a super easy memorable dish to share or keep tucked away for yourself 😉

Date Caramels with Bacon from Lo-So Good Cookbook on weelicious.comPin

Date Caramels with Crunchy Chocolate Coating + Lo-So Good Cookbook Giveaway

2 from 1 vote
Servings: 1 caramel
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped salt-free ginger candy (or pistachios or walnuts or crispy chopped bacon)


  • Heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and toast the shredded coconut until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully and stir often to get even color. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and dates, stirring occasionally, until the dates melt into a caramel-like consistency, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and the toasted shredded coconut. Cook until the mixture comes together and thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Place a 5-by-13-in [12-by-33-cm] piece of parchment paper on the counter with the long edge facing you. Pour the date-caramel mixture onto the left side of the parchment, about 1 in [2.5 cm] from the edge. Using a spatula, flatten and spread the caramel until it makes a 4-by-4-in [10-by-10-cm] square, about 1 in [2.5 cm] thick. Fold the right side of parchment paper over the caramel square. Place on a cookie sheet or flat plate and put in the freezer to harden for at least 1 hour.
  • Put the chocolate chips, remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, heating for 30 seconds, stirring, and repeating another one or two times until melted.)
  • Cut the date caramel into 1-in [2.5-cm] squares. Use a spoon or your fingers to dip the caramels into the melted chocolate, and then return them to the parchment paper. Sprinkle the tops with the ginger candy. Place the dipped caramels back into the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reserve any leftover chocolate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and reheat for more dipping fun.
  • Variation: For those that don’t need to watch their sodium strictly, sprinkle sea salt on top of the caramels while the chocolate is hardening. For those watching their sodium closely but wanting to spice things up, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or salt-free chili powder.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. These look absolutely delicious. I have the biggest sweet tooth. Thank you for sharing!

  2. As a mom and cardiac nurse I’m always telling patients to “salt” their food with citrus ( lemon) and add spices. Wakes up your taste buds without the sodium.

  3. In had no idea that dates would melt this way, it opens up so many possibilities! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  4. I avoid using too much salt by cooking with more spices and herbs. This cookbook sounds amazing!

  5. As someone who looooves salt, it was a huge disappointment when I was diagnosed with a disease where I *have* to lower my sodium intake in a major way (no more than 1800 mg per day).., would love to have this cookbook!

  6. I usually have much more of a sweet-tooth, but when I’m craving salt and don’t want to give in, I cook using lots of fresh herbs, tons of garlic &/or extra citrus juices like lemon or tangerine to maximize the flavor profile without adding any sodium. Yummy!

  7. pepper and other spices to give it good flavor instead of salt!-very low salt.

  8. I found out last summer that I was end stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease. I’m working hard to learn to live a low sodium lifestyle and have managed to hold on to Stage 4. I would love to learn more!

  9. I cook from scratch instead of using packaged foods. Then if necessary I can limit salt if it seems the recipe is heavy salt.

  10. When I try a new recipe, I try to half the salt is calls for to see if the taste is still satisfactory to my family, it usually is, but if not, I can always slightly increase it the next time!

  11. I love date caramel! Recipe looks great. Thanks for telling us about book, too.

  12. I use low sodium broths for soups and always add it as an extra ingredient at the end so i can make sure its not overpowering. I also tend to use other herbs/spices to bring out the flavors.

  13. Oh, and dulse (seaweed–Atlantic?) flakes work well with many foods, plus they have other minerals. To add. All this said, I don’t worry excessively about salt but it’s always good to have more alternatives in my back pocket and prevention is king.

  14. I use fresh lemon or lime juice to pick up flavours instead of salt. Can’t remember where I learned this but it actually works.

  15. Happily shared the Lo-So Good #WeeliciousGiveaways on Facebook!

    I will also share the giveaway with my girlfriend who has a heart condition that requires her to have a very low sodium diet.

  16. Would love to have this cookbook, I’m on a low sodium diet and always looking for new recipes.

  17. I have used granulated garlic powder, granulated onion powder and Mrs. Dash for over 30 years as a flavoring on meats and veggies.

    I cringe when I see the amount of salt all the chefs use in recipes when I watch their shows on various food channels – especially on food challenges and teaching the worst cooks. I really disagree with them on using salt to perfectly season a dish all the time. This does nothing to encourage reducing sodium intake.

    With both of my parents having renal failure prior to their passings, I would love and be honored to win one of the copies of Lo-So Good Cookbook and have a collection of recipes to prepare for my husband in hopes to have him reduce his sodium intake.

  18. I substitute nutritional yeast for salt as much as I can. I scaled back on sodium a few years back, it took some getting used to. Honestly, when buying seasonal fruits and veggies, you really don’t need to add much of anything.

  19. It’s possible to get used to low salt diet — but takes a while to get used to it. Cookbooks look very helpful!

  20. No added salt. Mrs. Dash…lemon pepper is wonderfu! Herbs, herbs, herbs. fresh and dried!

  21. I generally do not keep a salt shaker on the table, and if do, it is a sea salt grinder. I also have taught my kids to eat veggies without salt and will use things like garlic, onion, and herbs for flavor.

  22. Hypertension runs in my family. Being older and having a child I’m starting to think more about salt. It would be nice to have some help and a cookbook like this would be a nice start!

  23. I usually reduce the salt in recipes and never offer the salt shaker to my kids once food is ready. They don’t see me use it so they never want it.

  24. So often, by the time I get to the end of a recipe, I forget to do those things at the end. I usually forget to put salt in!

  25. To reduce sodium, I always use half of the salt a recipe asks for, then add more from there if needed.

  26. Wow, this cookbook looks amazing. I would love to try some of the recipies.

  27. I shared on Facebook as Carolsue Anderson
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  28. The Noodle Salad with Spicy Shrimp sounds padrticularly yummy!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  29. I have chronic kidney disease. No salt for me. Lo-so diet. Shared on Facebook. I do not cook with salt.

  30. I do love salt.. I’ve cut down a lot but love to use fresh herbs and garlic.

  31. I happen to love salt but after being diagnosed with hypertension I had to learn to season without salt or very little. I season with herbs and different kind of chillies. Depending on the dish I also have discovered dried mushrooms (rehydrated and chopped) works great. For soups, I throw in different flavored tea bags while preparing the broth.

  32. I usually don’t add much salt while cooking, or to pasta cooking water. I add a bit at the end to taste rather than recipe specifications.

  33. I just try to boost the other seasonings in lieu of salt. (And luckily, unless I’m eating chips or fries, I’m not a big salt fan…)

  34. I use herbs, but would love more ideas to reduce my salt-and-soy-sauce-addicted husband’s cravings.

  35. I don’t cook meals that requires a lot of salt, I don’t like salty foods anyway. I research for new meals to try on. I use fresh herbs and spices to counter saltiness.

  36. We use herbs to boost natural flavors. And honestly I just do not like overly salted foods!

  37. I keep the salt bowl hidden and out of sight so we don’t keep reaching for it at every meal. Only use if for baking when really needed.

  38. These have me drooling! I saw the carrot noodle salad on your snapchat last night. It looked delicious!! I need to check out this cookbook! Or maybe win it 😉

  39. This recipe looks delicious thanks for the chance to win this cookbook.

  40. I try to use more herbs to reduce using as much salt and then every recipe I cut the salt in half

  41. I don’t add salt while I’m cooking a dish, but wait until the end to sprinkle some on if necessary.

  42. Would love to check out this cookbook, the recipes look great!

  43. I may just have to make these today. It is our first day of summer vacation and that would be a yummy way to celebrate.

  44. These look delicious! I try to use herbs and peppers for flavor instead of salt where I can.

  45. I don’t put any salt in the water when cooking pasta, by the time past has sauce and Parmesan there’s enough flavor to go around 🙂

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