Candy Apples | The Unrefined Sugar Version

It’s almost Halloween and we have a sweet recipe for you, Candy Apples.  Homemade dark chocolate honey dipping sauce, fresh apples from the farmers market, and festive toppings brings this old-fashion past time to a new level of treat.  I wanted to develop a Halloween recipe that steered away from conventional sweeteners and focused on unrefined naturally sweet ingredients like fresh dates, goji berries, raw honey and dark chocolate.

After removing refined sugars from my diet, I’ve often wondered how to stay true to a healthy lifestyle while still indulging during the more sweeter holidays (pun definitely intended).   I’ve always had a sweet tooth and I can assure you my family and close friends can testify to this.  Trying to cut out refined sugar was extremely hard, but over time I was able to substitute with natural sweets like raw honey, dates and dark chocolate.  If you visit our Dessert section on The Avant-Garden you can find other sweet-tooth inspired recipes that use natural sweeteners.

As you probably know, candy apples are traditionally made with sweet ingredients that contain artificial flavors and colors.  Sugar comes in many forms.  One of the biggest culprits is high fructose corn syrup, which is highly processed and can be detrimental to your body.  Digestion of refined sugars signals the body to empty out its store of vitamins, minerals and enzymes for proper metabolization.  An increased consumption of refined sugar can also lead to various disease conditions in the body and overall shortened life span.

Health Effects of Refined Sugar Consumption:
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • bone loss and dental decay
  • atherosclerosis and coronary hear disease
  • diabetes

Moderate use of natural sweeteners can be beneficial.  Sweetness in fresh fruits is a sign that they are ripe and have reached full vitamin and mineral content.  Other natural sweeteners such as raw honey and date sugar are high in vitamins and minerals, which helps play a role in the body’s blood sugar regulation.


Prep Time: 5-10 Minutes || Cooking Time: 5 Minutes || Total Time: 2o Minutes


Ingredients:
  • 6 to 8 small to medium apples, cold
  • 1 cup dark chocolate baking chips
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons organic molasses
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sprouted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup organic dates, pitted and chopped (5-7 whole dates)
  • 1/3 cup goji berries
Additional Materials:
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • 6-8 festive sticks

PREPARING YOUR DARK CHOCOLATE HONEY SAUCE:

In a wide, deep-sided pan, combine the raw honey, molasses and water.  Heat at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are combined.  Then add in the dark chocolate baking chips, stir until melted.  Keep warm over low heat.

PREPARING YOUR CANDY APPLES:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prep your apples by washing and drying them.  Then skewer each apple with a stick.

Roll each apple into the dark chocolate honey sauce to coat, dipping twice if needed.  Then top off each apple with either coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, goji berries, and or fresh dates.  Have fun with this step and be as creative as you want!

Keep in mind to dip and decorate each apple at a time.  Chocolate has a tendency to dry quickly.

Transfer each candy apple to the baking sheet and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 1 day.  Once you are ready to serve let the candy apples sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes.  Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

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