Raw Caramel Apples
- 2 cups pitted dates , preferably Medjool, soaked in water for 4 hours
- ¼ cup raw nut butter (almond or cashew recommended)
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- pinch sea salt
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean , scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- about 6-8 small organic apples , very small sliver of bottoms cut off to steady the apples
- sticks or popsicle sticks , stuck down the core of the apples
- flake coconut , optional, for coating
- chopped almonds or peanuts , optional, for coating
- raw ganache (recipe follows), optional, for coating
- Raw ganache:
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates , pitted
- 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Ready dehydrator or preheat oven to very lowest setting.
- Make the caramel: drain dates and add to blender along with raw nut butter, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla, and blend until very smooth.
- If making in the oven: Place a Silpat on a baking sheet and spread the caramel mixture into a thin layer, using a dough scraper to even the surface. Place in oven and leave door open. Let dehydrate for about 2 hours, or until the surface of the caramel is dry.
- If making in dehydrator: Spread caramel mixture into a thin layer on prepared dehydrator pans, and use a scraper to even the surface. Dehydrate at least 2-3 hours, or until the surface of the caramel is dry.
- Once the caramel has dehydrated just enough, remove from oven/dehydrator and, using a dough scraper, cut caramel into rectangles and remove gently from Silpat or dehydrator pans using the dough scraper. Try to lift the caramel off the sheets rather than just scraping it. It won't just pop off, but should retain its shape and consistency. Pat to the surface of the apple and roll in coconut, almonds, peanuts, or drizzle with ganache. Keep in refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days.
- To make raw ganache: Blend the dates to a paste, then add in coconut milk and cacao powder. Blend to combine. Add in warm water and blend again until smooth. Lastly, add in your melted coconut oil and process until smooth, glossy, and all-around lovely. Drizzle over caramel apples.