These healthier caramel apple pops are the perfect Halloween treat or Fall party bite. Made with raw caramel sauce from dates, these caramel apple pops are healthier for the little ones and adult-approved! There’s nothing better than a crisp apple bite with gooey caramel sauce and a pumpkin seed coating for crunch.
Are you a fan of those caramel dips that you can buy in the produce section that simply require heating in the microwave before serving? Those were my jam when I was a kid. It was healthy because I was dipping apples in it, right?
I recently looked up the ingredients of my beloved childhood caramel dipping sauce, and yikes! Here were some of the worst offenders on the list: high fructose corn syrup (the first ingredient listed), corn syrup, modified corn starch, mono and diglycerides (used as an emulsifier and contains small amounts of trans fat), TBHQ and artificial flavors.
Finding a healthier swap for this caramel dipping sauce was pretty easy, considering that almost any other ingredient used to make a homemade version would be better than those listed above.
Related post: A Healthier Fresh Apple Pound Cake
Caramel sauce is traditionally made by heating some combination of water, butter and/or milk with sugar to a boil, then allowing to thicken to a decadent consistency.
My version is a bit different, since it is a raw caramel sauce. Why? Because it’s super simple to throw everything into a blender and call it a day!
The healthier swaps included in this recipe are:
- Dates (full of fiber) and maple syrup (less processed) instead of cane sugar
- Coconut oil and water to thin instead of milk (for dairy-free and a boost in healthy fats to balance blood sugar levels)
To make the easiest caramel apple pops ever, you’ll just need a mini ice cream scoop or melon baller (for the “pop” part), or you could slice the apples thick enough to insert a mini bamboo skewer.
For the caramel apple coating, we will be using a combination of pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes and a touch of coconut sugar, but feel free to use whatever you like! Any kind of nut or crunchy bit will work.
These caramel apple pops made with raw caramel sauce are the perfect (healthier) treat for a Halloween party or Fall get together. If you have kids around, this would be a fun recipe for them to participate in by skewering, dipping and rolling!Print
These healthier caramel apple pops are the perfect Halloween treat or Fall party bite. Made with raw caramel sauce from dates, these caramel apple pops are healthier for the little ones and adult-approved!
- 4 apples
- 30 mini bamboo skewers
For the raw caramel sauce:
- 1 lemon
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes to soften
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup soaking water (from the dates)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the pumpkin seed crunch:
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (or any other kind of seeds/nuts)
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
To make the pumpkin seed crunch:
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until crumbly.
- Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
To make the raw caramel sauce:
- Remove the dates from the soaking liquid and add these along with the other ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until completely smooth. (If it’s too thick, add additional water 2 Tablespoons at a time.)
- Pour into a bowl and set aside.
To prepare the apples:
- Use a melon baller to make apple balls or slice about ½ inch thick, placing them in a bowl of cold water with lemon juice to preserve the color.
When ready to assemble:
- Drain and pat dry the apples with a towel.
- Place a skewer in the top of the apple ball (or through one end of the apple slice) and dip into enough caramel sauce to coat.
- Next, roll in the pumpkin seed crunch until all sides are covered.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the caramel to set, or until ready to serve.
Keywords: apple, halloween, caramel, raw caramel, apple pops, caramel apple, fall, dessert, kid friendly, vegan, gluten free, healthy swap
If you have leftover caramel sauce or crunch mix, save it! You can store the caramel sauce in the refrigerator for a few weeks and sprinkle the crunch mix on yogurt, oatmeal or smoothie bowls.