In theory, caramel apples always sound amazing, but in reality they are always a sticky mess, hard to eat, and so sugary they actually hurt my teeth. I have learned to just pass on by and only dream of their caramel goodness…until now! I created this simple, refined sugar-free and vegan caramel sauce, perfect for dipping your favorite local apples into. If you are a traditionalist and you want your caramel apple the usual way, you can let the sauce thicken up a bit and then coat a whole apple in it, roll it in nuts, chocolate, sprinkles, etc. and then chill it to let it harden up a bit. I personally find the whole apples way too stressful to eat, so I stick with the slices, a perfect bite-sized treat!
Sure this caramel is a much healthier version of the original, but do keep in mind that at the end of the day sugar is still sugar, no matter where it comes from, so I don’t advise sitting down and eating a whole bowl of this in one sitting, just because we attached the word “healthy” to it. But, I admit, it will be hard, it is THAT good.
Vegan Caramel Apple Dipping Sauce (gluten-free)
makes about 2 cups
1 cup organic coconut sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup full-fat organic coconut milk, the canned kind
1 tablespoon vanilla
1tablespoon arrowroot starch (corn starch or tapioca starch would also work)
In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, mix together the coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil and water, stirring often and well until the sugar has dissolved and it is smooth and creamy. Bring it up to a slight simmer, add a dash or two or salt and the coconut milk, whisking and bring back up to a simmer.
Once it has been simmering for about 5 minutes, add in the vanilla and the arrowroot starch. I find that slowly adding the arrowroot starch while whisking (by sprinkling it in), versus just a big dump, keeps the lumps to a minimum. Lower the heat and whisk until the arrowroot starch has dissolved and the sauce is nice and thick. Remove from the heat.
It is great served warm or cool as a dipping sauce for apples (or whatever else you might like to dip in it). Serve with chopped nuts or chocolate on the side as well.
Or you can let the sauce cool fully and it will get a little thicker and then you can roll whole apples or apple slices in it, cover with chopped nuts or chocolate pieces and place in the fridge to chill and harden up a bit.
For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.
More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.