Califonia Bountiful

Timaree's sweet vanilla dip

Think vanilla, think caramel, think creamy and sweet…. Now, make this recipe! That's the advice of dietitian Timaree Hagenburger, who created this dip from 100 percent whole food. It's great with sliced apples or on nut butter sandwiches in place of jelly.

Timaree Hagenburger
The Nutrition Professor
Cosumnes River College, Sacramento

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10 Medjool dates, pits removed (about 1 cup of dates)
1/4 cup cashews, soaked and rinsed (see tip)
1/2 cup water
1/2 apple, remove core, but leave skin on (see tip)
1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla (see tip)
Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender, being sure that you didn't miss any pits. Blend until very, very smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, but will probably be eaten up in no time!

The Nutrition Professor's Prep Smart,
Cook Smart Tips:

  • Soak the cashews in water for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator, then rinse before adding to the blender. The cashews might darken a bit in the water, but do not worry. The soaking allows for enzyme inhibitors to be released, which can make them easier to digest as well as improve the absorption of the valuable nutrients they provide.
  • Any variety of apple will work for this recipe, though I would lean toward a sweeter option, saving the tart apples for dipping. Also try Asian pears.
  • Don't peel your apples! Many of the amazing health-promoting nutrients are found in and just under the skin, so simply core the apples and you are ready to go.
  • Because different brands of vanilla can vary in "strength," you may want to start with 1/2 tsp., taste the dip and then add more, if you'd like.

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