We have had a crazy hot summer over here in these parts of the country and I’m just so thankful the barometer is starting to drop. It was scraping 100F for over two weeks but now that we’re back into the level-headed 80′s, I’m a happy camper.
And craving all things fall. Caramel apples, pumpkin pie, braised everything and lots of crock pot stews. All good comfort foods that could use a clean rehab.
Let’s start with apples…and let me take you back about 42 years. I know! That was a long time ago but it’s the first time I got introduced to a caramel apple. We had just immigrated to the U.S. and my parents thought it would be a fun treat for me. So I proceeded to gnaw away and left a trail of caramel across my entire face, nose, forehead, cheeks and chin included.
The deal is, these things are covered in fat and sugar and honestly, apples are too darn good to get disguised in such thick, goopy dips. My version is a raw, vegan little number that complements the flavor of a delish, crisp apple and cloaks it in warmth like a fuzzy coat. Then, they get rolled in a tasty adornment of crushed pecans, almonds, dark chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut or cinnamon rice crisps and dark chocolate.
When I gave these to my kids they went ballistic – in a good way. They were absolutely over the moon, thanking me over and over again and looking at me suspiciously like I was doing something kinda’ sneaky. I assured them they were real apples, real caramel and real coatings – just no sugar or yucky stuff.
My daughter loves Honeycrisp apples, so these were extra special.
I also like cutting the apples up, misting them with Eat Cleaner to keep from browning, and coating the flesh with caramel and toppings to make it easy to bite into and portion control. These were a big hit at the recent Celebrity Red Carpet Safety Event in Los Angeles. Even actress Ali Landry got in on the action. We had people coming back for more and more, so I thought, this is a recipe I’ve got to share. Enjoy!
Actress Ali Landry getting in on the Clean Caramel Apple Action.
Actress Meredith Monroe taking her pic of apples.
Date Caramel Butter Dipped Apples
(Raw, Vegan, Dairy-Free, No Sugar Added, Paleo)
12 Pitted Dates
2 Tablespoons Nut Butter (Almond or Cashew are best)
1 Teaspoon Organic Stevia
1 Tablespoon Raw Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup water
4 Apples (My favorite is HoneyCrisp)
Popsicle Sticks or Skewers
1 Cup mixed pecans, almonds and walnuts
1/2 Cup dark chocolate chips
1 Cup rice crisps (I used unsweetened cinnamon crisps from the bulk bin)
1/2 Cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1) In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend for about 3 minutes or until a smooth, creamy consistency is achieved. You can add a little more water if needed but the idea is to get a thick enough mixture to adhere to apples.
2) In a plastic bag, combine nuts and chocolate chips and pound until crushed. Spread on a plate. For the rice crisps, no crushing needed – just chop up the chocolate chips a bit. You can mix and match clean toppings however you like.
3) Position stick into bottom of apples 2/3 way through core. Spoon caramel over apples to coat thoroughly. You can also cut core and cut apples up into pieces, mist with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash and dip flesh into caramel instead.
4) Dip caramel coated apples and/or slices into toppings and push into flesh to help keep them sticky. Allow to thoroughly dry on wax paper and keep cool until ready to enjoy.