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Easy Caramel Apples {Vegan & Oil-Free}

With only a few simple ingredients, you can have deliciously healthy, Vegan Caramel Apples in a matter of minutes!

vegan caramel apples covered in peanuts and chocolate chips

Nothing says fall fun like sweet and sticky caramel apples. They remind me of the apple picking, country fair, and fall festival days of my childhood. What could be more fun than that?

But, these days, I’m more careful about what I eat and want to make sure that the food I’m putting into my body is not only delicious but also good for me. That’s why I came up with these festive vegan caramel apples that are perfect for fall, fun, and even healthy Halloween treats! These Homemade Tootsie Rolls are another great Halloween treat for the kids (and adults).

apple slices on sticks and dipped in vegan caramel and nuts

Are caramel apples healthy?

Usually, caramel apples are loaded with corn syrup, sugar, oil, and milk, so the apple is the only thing healthy about it. But, that’s not true with this healthier recipe that is:

  • Free of syrup and refined sugars
  • Oil-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan
  • Much lower in fat

All of the ingredients used are wholesome and much lower in fat than the traditional version. Made with dates, vanilla, sea salt, and plant milk, this vegan caramel sauce is going to knock your socks off. The recipe is adapted from the Eating Bird Food website.

Best apples to use

Traditionally, many recipes call for using tart apples such as Granny Smith’s for making caramel apples because the tartness helps to balance out the sweet caramel flavor. However, in my opinion, any apple that is firm and has a sweet or tart taste will work just fine, just like in my Healthy Apple Crumble. In the list below, I’ve included some of my favorites.

  • Gala
  • Pink Lady
  • Honey Crisp
  • Granny Smith
  • Red Delicious
date caramel apples covered in nuts on brown paper

How to make vegan caramel apples

Wash and thoroughly dry the apples you plan to use, then poke a popsicle stick or wooden skewer that has been trimmed into the center of each one.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set the apples with sticks on it while you make the caramel sauce.

dates, vanilla, almond milk, salt on wooden cutting board

Remove the pits from each of the dates. Then, add the dates, vanilla, sea salt, and plant milk to your high-power blender. My personal favorite and the only brand I use is Vitamix because it can blend anything I throw in it to perfection.

Blend the ingredients until nice and smooth. Add more plant milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time if needed to help the blending process.

date caramel in vitamix blender

It will be a nice thick consistency to make sure it sticks to the apples well. To make it a more saucy texture for Date Paste to use in other recipes, try adding more plant milk as done in my Vegan Caramel Sauce recipe.

Use a spoon or spatula to smear the caramel onto each apple. I also like to roll them in crushed nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, pecans, or cashews, but that is completely optional. To really kick it up a notch, sprinkle each one with a few dairy-free chocolate chips.

4 vegan caramel apples on white plates surrounded by apple slices

Pro Tips for making vegan caramel apples

  • Temperature- I found that room temperature apples work best. Mine had been stored in the refrigerator, and when I brought them out, they began to sweat. You’ll want completely dry apples, so make sure they are room temperature.
  • Sticks- Popsicle sticks are probably the most commonly used, but I happened to have some wooden veggie skewers on hand and trimmed them down to size using my garden clippers. It worked out perfectly because the skewers had a pointed end that went right into the apples easily.
  • Date Texture- If you are using fresh dates that are nice and soft, they should blend up pretty easily. However, if your dates are a bit dry, try soaking them in warm water for about 20 minutes to soften them up a before using them. It will make the blending process much smoother.
  • Storing- A shallow bowl lined with wax paper or paper muffin cups then covered with a sheet of plastic food wrap works well for storage. Place in the refrigerator, and they keep for about a week.

Want more apple recipes?

vegan caramel apples covered in peanuts and chocolate chips

Easy Caramel Apples {Vegan & Oil-Free}

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

With only a few simple ingredients, you can have deliciously healthy, Vegan Caramel Apples in a matter of minutes!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the apples you plan to use, then poke a popsicle stick or skewer that has been trimmed into the center of each one.
  2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set the apples with sticks on it while you make the caramel sauce.
  3. Remove the pits from each of the dates. Then, add the dates, vanilla, sea salt, and plant milk to your high-power blender. My personal favorite and the only brand I use is Vitamix because it can blend anything I throw in it to perfection.
  4. Blend the ingredients until nice and smooth. Add more plant milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time if needed to help the blending process.
  5. Use a spoon or spatula to smear the caramel onto each apple. I also like to roll them in crushed nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, pecans, or cashews, but that is completely optional. To really kick it up a notch, sprinkle each one with a few dairy-free chocolate chips.



Notes

Pro Tips for making vegan caramel apples

  • Temperature- I found that room temperature apples work best. Mine had been stored in the refrigerator, and when I brought them out, they began to sweat. You’ll want completely dry apples, so make sure they are room temperature.
  • Sticks- Popsicle sticks are probably the most commonly used, but I happened to have some wooden veggie skewers on hand and trimmed them down to size using my garden clippers. It worked out perfectly because the skewers had a pointed end that went right into the apples easily.
  • Date Texture- If you are using fresh dates that are nice and soft, they should blend up pretty easily. However, if your dates are a bit dry, try soaking them in warm water for about 20 minutes to soften them up a little before using them. It will make the blending process much smoother.
  • Storing- A shallow bowl lined with wax paper or paper muffin cups then covered with a sheet of plastic food wrap works well for storage. Place in the refrigerator, and they keep for about a week.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 10gSugar: 80gProtein: 2g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Patience

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

I made these -- what a delicious, fun treat for my husband and me! Thanks for sharing!

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

Hi Patience- That's awesome! Thank you for the great feedback. :)

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