It’s Friday and this weekend is Halloween so what else is more appropriate for today than some candy! But you know me, I have to try to make the sweet treats at least a little bit healthier so I did just that! 🙂
As I mentioned in my last post, we don’t really celebrate Halloween in this part of the world but we do celebrate (not sure if that’s the right word actually!) the Day of the Dead and All Saints Day and on those days we remember all the people who passed away, we go to the cemeteries and bring flowers and we light candles. But since Halloween is celebrated in so many countries and all the world knows about it, I had to think of something to post for this occasion but that wouldn’t necessarily be scary looking food or something like that. This little treats would be also good idea for kids birthdays or some other celebration.
I basically saw all over the internet photos of Caramel apples and even if they look really cool, that’s not something I would eat as I really don’t like caramel. I’ve always found it way too sweet for my taste. Funnily enough, my husband feels the same so we never have anything caramel. BUT, than I discovered Date Caramel, basically a healthier version of regular caramel that instead of all that sugar, butter and cream uses dates, nature’s candies! And I LOVE it! It’s so easy to make and it’s creamy, sweet and delicious, plus it’s not bad for you as dates are rich in several vitamins, minerals and fiber too. The benefits of dates include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, diarrhea and according to a modern medical survey, it is now accepted that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. To make date caramel I suggest you use Medjool dates as they are much softer so it’s easier to break them down in food processor but they are more expensive and a bit more difficult to find so if you are using regular dry dates, I recommend you soak them in hot water for at least 2 hours so they soften.
After the caramel part was done, I knew I wanted to make smaller apple bites as they are much cuter, easier to eat and probably much less messy that biting full apples covered in date caramel. I got the inspiration for those little bites from this page where they did Mini caramel apples. To make the little balls you use a melon baller (don’t worry, I didn’t know either it’s called like that! I’ve found the name here!)
but if you don’t have it, you can always cut the apples in slices and use that. I also didn’t have any lollipop sticks so I just used regular toothpicks and it worked out well.
I used red apples as they are a bit sweeter than green ones and from 4 apples I got about 40 little balls/bites so you need to adjust the quantities depending how many you want. So the apple part is healthy, the date caramel part is also healthy but than I didn’t want to go all the way and make it too healthy (but you could if you want and use only dried fruit, nuts, unsweetened coconut etc) because it is after all meant to be for kids (hmm and adults!) for special occasion so for topping I used sprinkles, chocolate crumbs, mini marshmallows and chopped almonds. It’s such a fun thing to do and it makes you feel like a child, just dipping the apples in that creamy caramel and in different toppings! My guess is kids would love this and you’ll make them eat something healthy together with the sweets so the best of both worlds! 😀
Recipe in English:
- 4 red apples (+ few more apples if you want to use them as the stand where you will put the apple bites, as shown in the photos; 4 apples = about 40 bites)
- For date caramel:
- 1- 1.5 cups Medjool dates, pits removed (or if you use regular dried dates, soak them in hot water for about 20 minutes so they soften)
- ¼ cup almond milk (or other)
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Note: 1 cup = 250 ml
- For toppings: sprinkles, chocolate crumbs, mini marshmallows, dried fruit, nuts, coconut... (optional)
- First make Date Caramel by putting all the ingredients (Medjool dates, coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla and salt) into the food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. If necessary, add another 1-2 tbsp of milk.
- Prepare apples by scooping out little balls using a melon baller (or alternatively just cut apples in slices). Put each little ball / bite on the toothpick or lollipop stick.
- Prepare all the toppings in separate little containers (I used a muffin pan).
- Dip each bite into the date caramel and than into toppings (or even better, let the kids/people do that themselves because it's a lot of fun!). Enjoy!
Recipe in Croatian / Recept na hrvatskom:
- 4 crvene jabuke (+ jos nekoliko jabuka ako ih zelite koristiti kao 'stalak'/podlogu kao sto mozete vidjeti na slikama: 4 jabuke = otprilike 40 zalogajcica)
- Za karamel od datulja:
- 1-1.5 salica datulja, odstraniti kostice (ako su datulje suhe, namociti ih u toplu vodu 20-ak minuta)
- ¼ salice bademovog (ili drugog) mlijeka
- 1 zlica kokosovog ulja, otopljenog
- 1 zlicica vanilin ekstrakta
- prstohvat soli
- Za posipanje: cokoladne mrvice, mini 'marshmallows', suho voce, usitnjeni orascici, kokosove mrvice...
- Napomena: 1 salica = 250 ml
- Najprije napravite karamel od datulja tako sto cete sve sastojke staviti u vas multipraktik i miksati dok ne dobijete glatku gustu smjesu. Ako je potrebno, dodajte 1-2 zlice mlijeka da bi se lakse izmiksalo.
- Pripremite jabuke tako sto cete izdubiti male kuglice ili mozete narezati jabuke na kriske. Utisnite svaku kuglicu / krisku na cackalicu.
- Pripremite sve sastojke za posipanje koje cete koristite i stavite ih u posudice ili koristite, kao ja, kalupe za muffine.
- Umocite svaki zalogajcic u karamel od datulja i zatim u sastojke za psipanje po izboru. Jos bolje je ako ostavite gostima (djeci) da to naprave sami i sloze zalogajcic kakav zele. Dobar tek!