I am so very excited to share this recipe with you guys. I had so much fun creating it and even more fun eating it! 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 finally decided to re-imagine a caramel recipe without heavy cream or butter, but I also wanted the sweetness to come from somewhere other than refined overly processed white sugar.
I am really excited with how this came out.
It has a beautiful dark hue from the coconut sugar and it is thick and luscious and perfectly creamy, and the right amount of sweetness without feeling yourself getting a cavity as you are eating it.
This caramel is great as both a dipping sauce for fresh apples (or whatever else you would like) that can be served while it is still a little warm or totally chilled, or you can let it fully chill, get nice and thick and actually coat whole or sliced apples in it, then coat them in nuts, chocolate, sprinkles or whatever you’d like.
Obviously, just because this caramel sauce is healthier than the original, it doesn’t mean you should sit down and eat a bowl of it in one sitting, though you easily could. Sugar is still sugar, but at least with this refined sugar-free, vegan version you can have a bit less guilt while you indulge.
[print_this]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.