Healthy Caramel Apples

4.91 from 10 votes


When I gave up processed and refined sweeteners I never thought I would be able to enjoy a caramel apple again, until I created this.

Although they’re perfect for the Fall or Halloween, you can enjoy this healthy treat any time of year!  They look just like the “real” thing and kids of all ages love them!

Four caramel green apples, with different coatings, including nuts, coconut, and cacao nibs.
4.91 from 10 votes

Healthy Caramel Apples - Raw and Unprocessed

By: Chef AJ
Sticks for Caramel Apples can be found at craft stores or cake decorating stores. If you have trouble finding them, just slice the apples into wedges and make individually dipped apple slices.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Soaking time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


For the Date Paste:

  • 1 pound dates, pitted
  • 1 cup water, unsweetened non-dairy milk, or unsweetened juice

For the Apples:

  • date paste
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla
  • apples
  • sticks

Optional Toppings

  • chopped nuts, unsalted
  • cacao nibs
  • shredded dried coconut, unsweetened
  • Goji berries


For the Date Paste:

  • Soak dates in liquid overnight or for several hours until much of the liquid is absorbed.
  • In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, purée the dates and liquid until completely smooth.

For the Apples:

  • Place each apple upside down on a flat surface and push a stick into the center. Roll the apple in date paste, using your hands if necessary, to get it to stick over the entire surface of the apple.
  • Roll in your favorite topping such as unsalted nuts, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, or Goji berries or a combination.
  • Chill well before serving.


Any extra date paste can be stored in the refrigerator and used to sweeten other recipes.


Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 110g, Protein: 3g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 938mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 90g, Vitamin A: 100IU, Vitamin C: 8.8mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 1.4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Photo courtesy of Chef AJ.

About the Author

Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss Book CoverChef AJ is a chef and culinary instructor in Los Angeles, and former Executive Vegan Pastry Chef at Sante restaurant, specializing in in plant-indulgent food that is free of sugar, oil, and salt. She teaches how to create meals to transform your health, how to deal with cravings and food addiction, and addresses the emotional side of eating. Chef AJ is the author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss: A revolutionary approach to conquer cravings, overcome food addiction, and lose weight without going hungry.

Visit her website, her YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian, and find her on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram.

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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September 25, 2019 10:02 pm

Healthy Caramel Apples look awesome and delicious!

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September 3, 2019 1:54 am

5 stars
really amazing information and i read your some old blogs also your all blogs are awesome very interesting

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November 4, 2013 7:29 pm

Where do i find the alcohol free vanilla? particular brands??

Reply to  Deborah
November 4, 2013 7:35 pm

5 stars
Trader Joe’s has an alcohol free brand and Whole Foods has Frontier which is also alcohol free. You can also buy on line or make your own from 2 vanilla beans plus one cup of water in a blender, blend until smooth and then keep in frig.

Love & Kale,
Chef AJ

Reply to  Chef AJ
November 5, 2013 2:47 pm

Thank you.

Julia Bird
October 10, 2013 6:49 am

Fantastic resource – thanks!

Julia Bird
October 10, 2013 6:35 am

What non-dairy milk do you use ? Soya, almond? I’m assuming it should be unsweetened?

Reply to  Julia Bird
October 10, 2013 6:45 am

5 stars
I actually don’t used boxed milks because I don’t like to buy food in packages for environmental reasons, and I don’t eat salt or carageneen which is added to all of the boxed milk. I simply and easily and cheaply make my own out of raw almond butter and water, you can get the recipe in my book UNPROCESSED or free on my website hch is

October 9, 2013 2:38 pm

This is a cool (and beautiful) idea but it can’t possibly taste like caramel. ..can it?

Charles B
Reply to  Jill
October 9, 2013 6:25 pm

5 stars
If you use a creamy milk for the liquid and be sure to include the vanilla extract in the date paste, then yes, it tastes a lot like cream caramel. I used 1/2 lb dates, 1/2 cup half and half (dairy), and 1/2 TBSP vanilla.

Reply to  Charles B
October 9, 2013 7:04 pm

5 stars
I have fooled many people with these the last 13 years. I was an Executive Pastry Chef at a Los Angeles restaurant for many years and fooled many people with my gluten free, oil free, salt free date sweetened desserts. Dates inherently taste like caramel. Especially the Bahri variety.

Reply to  Chef AJ
October 9, 2013 7:05 pm

5 stars
I am allergic to milk but even with non dairy milk it tastes like caramel.

October 9, 2013 10:02 am

Mmm. Cinnamon would be excellent in the date paste, too.

Reply to  James
October 9, 2013 7:04 pm

5 stars
it is, it is.