Yeah. So, maybe these are not the prettiest caramel apples you've ever seen: the caramel isn't smooth, even and glossy; it doesn't pull away in strands when you bite into it; it doesn't stick to your teeth, face, or hair; it's not made of refined sugars... Wait... what was my point? That sounds much nicer, actually. Should I keep going?
It gets better.
They're vegan, free of refined sugars, gluten free, fat free, allergy free*, and still sticky, sweet and delicious!! Yes, indeed.
But wait! There's more!
These caramel apples are a completely raw, whole food, TWO ingredient treat that takes only THREE minutes to prepare. You seriously don't even need a recipe, but I'll provide a loose list of constituents and assembly instructions :-)
3 Minute Raw Caramel Apples
- Organic Granny Smith Apples (any apple is fine; I like the pairing of less-sweet, tartness with the "caramel")
- Organic Dates (3-4 per apple. Medjool or Deglet Noor1 are fine - the softer and gooier, the better)
- Chopsticks/sturdy skewers (optional)
Slice the dates lengthwise; remove pits, if necessary, and open the date to expose the gooey inside.
Rub the date over the apple, so that all the gooey goodness sticks to the apple - it probably won't be perfectly even and uniform, but that's OK!
Once your apple is coated to your liking, you can poke a chopstick (I find that Japanese style works best) or skewer into the bottom, or just slice it up the way it is.
*I rolled one apple in chopped, cinnamon-spiced pecans (raw pecan pieces; Nutiva Coconut Oil; cinnamon). Obviously, this is optional. If you can tolerate seeds, you could try the same idea by subbing pepitas.
If your dates aren't very soft, you can try this (non-3 minute) method:
Soak the dates in a tiny bit of room temp filtered water (1 tsp per 3 dates) for a few minutes. Then puree the dates in a food processor, blender or mini blender, until a relatively smooth, but still thick paste forms.
Gently press/smooth the desired amount of date paste over each apple, and skewer or slice as above.
If using this method, and you want a bit denser consistency from your date caramel, allow the apple(s) to sit in the refrigerator uncovered for 1-2 hours (or even overnight).
The pureeing method also lends itself to some fun flavor ideas:
Salted Caramel Apple: Add a couple pinches of Sea Salt to your date puree.
Cinnamon Caramel Apple: Add approx. 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon for every 4-5 dates.
Chocolate Caramel Apple: Add 1/2 tsp Raw Cacao Powder for every 4-5 dates
1. Deglet Noors lend a more caramelly flavor (IMHO).