I came up with this genius idea last night while rummaging through my fridge, trying to find a healthy snack to munch on. I have a bad habit of late-night snacking, so this week I had switched up my grocery list and limited my late-night snacks to consist solely of fruit and vegetables (edamame, celery and peanut butter, banana nice cream, etc.)

I was just about to slice up a fresh honeycrisp apple to pair with a side of peanut butter when I glanced over at a package of medjool dates in my fridge and realized I could create something so much better: date caramel apples!

I don’t know how I hadn’t thought of this until now. Especially since it’s summer, which always make me think of carnivals… which always make me think of caramel apples. (And speaking of, this is a great healthy snack for kids too!)

healthy caramel apple

Dates are a fantastic sugar substitute because they’re naturally sweet, so you can create guilt-free, raw, vegan caramel that’s incredibly easy to make! (My favorite date caramel recipe = German Chocolate Brownies).

trader joes medjool dates

Not to mention, they’re also loaded with potassium (for those of you like me who get foot cramps! Dates actually have double the potassium of bananas.)

medjool dates

They are sticky though, so you’ll likely have to scrape the side of the blender a few times and continue blending until the consistency of the date caramel is smooth.

vegan date caramel

Spreading the date caramel onto the apple can be a little tricky since the caramel won’t be completely smooth, so I’d recommend using a spatula or spoon to smooth it out (or you can use your hands like I did. Way easier.)

raw vegan caramel apple

For toppings, I used raw unsalted sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut and cacao nibs. But of course, you can use crushed peanut, chocolate chips, or anything else you want!

cacao coconut almonds

Another great option is to omit the stick altogether and just dip sliced apples in the caramel.

medjool date caramel apple

This serving is for one apple, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll eat them all if you make more than that. Plus, I used a honeycrisp apple, which are huge. It was more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth!

Date Caramel Apples
Recipe type: Snack, Dessert
  • 5 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 popsicle or skewer stick
  • Optional toppings: crushed peanuts, almonds, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, chocolate chips
  1. Boil dates in water for 5 minutes until soft. Remove pits.
  2. In a blender, combine dates, syrup and water. Blend until smooth. (You’ll likely need to scrape the sides of the blender several times and continue blending until it has the right consistency.)
  3. Push a stick into the center of the apple.
  4. Spread a layer of caramel onto the apple using a spatula or spoon.
  5. If adding toppings, line a plate with your desired toppings and roll the apple over them until apple is completely covered.
  6. Place the apple on a plate and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until caramel is firm.

 medjool date caramel


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