Healthified Caramel Apples

Halloween is upon us – just two more days to get your act together if you haven’t already!

To be honest, I’m not much of a Halloween person (or a holiday person in general, if we’re being totally honest). I have just never been big on anything that requires temporary decorations, and, if you can believe it or not, do not own a single Halloween or Thanksgiving decoration, and only have a few things from my childhood for Christmas. Totally bah humbug, I know, but don’t hold it against me. I think it stems from moving around a lot, and just not wanting to move unnecessary things.

I was a bit in culture shock as I stood in line at Michael’s to buy the little bamboo sticks for this recipe, as everyone around me was loading up on costumes, fake cobwebbing, and, something called “Rainbow Looms,” which apparently are all the rage with the elementary school kids right now. I had no idea!

An-y-way, one thing I DO love about Halloween is caramel apples. I heard this idea for a healthier recipe on the Rich Roll podcast last week, and I had to try it out. It’s ridiculously easy and amazingly close to the real deal.

Healthier Caramel Apples | Test Kitchen Tuesday

The best part is you truly only need one ingredient aside from apples! A favorite around these parts, Medjool dates are the superstar in this recipe. I usually buy them at Trader Joe’s in the fresh fruit/veggie section, but they have been out lately, so recently I ordered them from Amazon. You don’t want dried ones or Deglet Noor. Fresh Medjool dates are where it’s at.

I altered the recipe slightly by adding 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for two reasons: 1) Coconut oil helps sauces set up hard (it’s the “magic” ingredient in “magic shell” sauces) and 2) I like it. But by all means, it is not critical in this recipe.

Lastly, you could totally make this sauce and not spread it on apples. It would be good for an ice cream topping, or, packaged it in little to-go containers and put in your kid’s lunch with apple slices for dipping. Keep in mind, there is still quite a lot of sugar in this recipe from the dates, so it really is a treat and not an every day type of thing.

Healthier Caramel Apples

Print this Recipe!

Makes: 6 medium sized apples


  • 1/2 pound pitted Medjool dates (about 12)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 medium sized Granny Smith or favorite apple
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)


  • Pit dates, and soak in water for at least an hour, and up to overnight
  • Wash and Insert popsicle sticks or bamboo cake pop sticks into your apples
  • Puree date and water mixture in your food processor or Ninja blender – slower speed is better for this recipe to get the mixture very smooth. I pureed on level “1” for about 2 minutes in my food processor bowl for the Ninja Mega, but this should work in any Ninja blender – just hold down the lid on the Pulse.

Caramel Apples | Test Kitchen Tuesday

  • Spread sauce on apples, and then roll in your favorite chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or other secondary “topping”
  • Store in the refrigerator

Healthier Caramel Apples | Test Kitchen Tuesday

Nutritional Breakdown



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