While I’m not one for loads of desserts or treats to be laying around my house, I do know that the season of a little extra indulgence here and there is upon us…
Halloween, I’d argue, is the official kickoff…it’s a day where you celebrate it by eating free candy, for crying out loud!
If that’s not indulgent, I don’t know what is.
With that said, I’m bearing the cumbersome burden of sharing at least 1 Paleo and vegan (or vegan-adaptable) treat recipe a week from now until New Year’s so y’all have an arsenal of nutritionally redeeming recipes to tap into for those Thanksgiving lunches, tacky Christmas sweater parties, Christmas cookie swaps, and so on…
To today, I’ve got a kid-friendly treat that is
Yup, we’re recreating that fall favorite- the caramel apple- just in a healthier, bite-sized way today!
As a long time fan of apples, I’ve had them just about every which way possible- baked in a pie, stewed with cinnamon alongside pork chops, diced up in a slaw, and even simmered along with a pot roast.
While enduring the first trimester morning sickness, granny smith apples were on of the few foods that didn’t make me wanna toss my paleo cookies.
And today, I’ve perfected and paleofied one of my all time favorite variations on this crunchy, juicy, all-American beauty- Caramel Apples!
Now I know what you’re thinking…caramel apples are NOT healthy.
And you’re right.
Seeing as the normal portion size is the entire thing and typical caramel consists of sugar, butter, and heavy cream (gosh, no wonder it’s so good), you’re looking at a whopping 300 calories and 40 g of sugar.
You’d have to eat 1 full size and 1 fun size Milky Way to meet that equivalent.
My recipe tackles that sugar bananza by cutting it in half and swapping out the traditional stuff for coconut sugar.
Y’all, this stuff is the BOMB!
Not only does it have a naturally caramelicious flavor, it actually have fiber in it, which slows the impact the sugar would have on your insulin levels, which is muy bueno, y’all.
On top of all that, it contains iron, zinc, and phytonutrients that help reduce blood sugar, inflammation, and cholesterol.
I also swapped the heavy cream for coconut milk, which is equally luxurious and velvety and still loaded with nom nom healthy fat that is necessary to making a caramel sauce.
And finally, to solve what usually trips us American’s up: the portion size.
Using a handy, dandy melon baller, I popped out adorable little apple bites.
No melon baller? You could still mash a stick in apple wedges and dunk them in caramel just fine.
Now that I’ve convinced y’all these are nutritionally legit, I assure you they are SUPER easy, too! We're talkin' maybe one total hour...that's making the apple bites and caramel and chilling...
Confession: I was really nervous about making homemade caramel, especially without dairy or butter or traditional sugar. Cause making caramel…that should use a candy thermometer with hard boil and soft boil and all that candy jargon that straight up intimidates me. But this, my friends, is not one of those recipes.
How easy peasy paleo, y’all?
1. Stir canned coconut milk and coconut sugar together in a heavy pot…I used a Le Crueset cast iron one.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and stir every now and then for 30ish minutes.
3. Plop in coconut oil, vanilla, and salt.
4. Dunk in apple bites.
5. Try not to burn your tongue on the molten hot caramel. Just try.
Wouldn’t these be ADORABLE at your Thanksgiving dessert buffet? Even if there aren’t any kiddos there, adults like eating food on a stick, too.
Dessert on a stick…now that’s fun for the whole family.
And if this recipe floats your boat, you might be interested in these gems, too:
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!