I typically only eat a caramel apple once a year as a treat, because (a) it’s in season for a limited time; (b) I buy it at the apple orchard, which I only visit once a year; and (c) it’s made with some ingredients that aren’t so healthy.
So this season, I thought I’d make an “Abby version” of a caramel apple, a healthier alternative but with the same great taste.
I had a help from another recipe, and was pleased that this version turned out great!
I cut up the apples and used the caramel as a dipping sauce and served them at a party. (Since I had other finger foods, I didn’t think anyone would want to eat an entire caramel apple!)
I always recommend eating local and organic (everything!) whenever possible. With apples, however, this is especially important because most of the health benefits are found in the skin, where the pesticides are sprayed.
Not convinced you should indulge in this dessert?
Here are 5 health benefits of eating apples:
- Fill Up, Lose Weight, and Ditch Those Tummy Problems
Apples are full of fiber (4 grams of fiber with only 95 calories in an average apple) which helps you feel full longer without adding calories (so this helps you lose weight!) A diet high in fiber will also keep tummy troubles (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation, and hemorrhoids) at bay.
- Reduce Risk of Many Types of Cancer
Bone, colon, lung, breast and liver cancers are all shown to have lower incidences with a diet high in apples due to the flavanoids (particularly quercetin) found in apple skins.
- Fight Colds
Apples are high in Vitamin C, enough said!
- Lower Your Risk of Diabetes
The pectin in apples is linked to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes, and helps reduce the body’s dependence on insulin.
- Help Fight Asthma
Both during pregnancy and in childhood, eating apples is linked to a lower rate of asthma in children. Wish my Mom knew had known this back when I was a kid!
Caramel Apples (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- Organic, local apples, washed stem removed stick inserted on top (about 10 large apples)
- 2 cups Sucanat
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ⅓ cup organic, raw agave
- ½ cup coconut cream (refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight, spoon off thick cream and use)
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- In a large pot, combine Sucanat, vanilla, maple syrup, agave, salt and coconut cream.
- Stir all ingredients together and place on the stove, just below medium-high heat.
- Bring it to 250 degrees, using a candy thermometer.
- As it starts to bubble stop stirring and swirl it around. As soon as it hits 250 degrees, remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil. Have cookie sheet with wax paper ready.
- Dip apples in the caramel mixture until they are well coated and set on tray. Let cool completely.
Adapted from Simple Healthy Tasty, October 2010