Nothing says fall like apple picking! Who doesn’t love a fresh, crisp, juicy apple? There are all sorts of yummy treats that apple season produces, but one of my family’s favorites is apples with caramel dip. A few years ago, I picked up a popular brand of caramel apple dip and paused to read the ingredients. I was appalled by what was in it, and we literally never bought brand name caramel apple dip again. It was then that our quest for a healthier caramel sauce began. Even the brand from our local health food store, while slightly better in the ingredient department, was still very processed and still had some things in it that I’d rather my family not consume. Not to mention, it had a rather hefty price tag.
So, rather than tell my kids we will no longer be eating caramel apples, and risk a family mutiny, I decided we best find a healthier alternative (see, kids, mom IS fun, after all!) This is a great family project, especially if you can get dad involved, too. In our family’s case, my husband is actually much better at baking and making treats than I am, and he has a sweet tooth, so he was all for it!
After a glorious fall day apple picking, we decided to make our own version of a healthier caramel sauce. We had a great time experimenting with different ingredients and proportions to develop our recipe, and after seeing how quick and easy it is to make this, I can’t believe we ever bought caramel sauce, anyway!
There are lots of different caramel recipes available, but basically, sugar, butter, cream, and, often times, corn syrup, are the main ingredients. Now, I am not thrilled about putting genetically modified foods or highly processed foods in my family’s body at all, but when it comes in the form of sugar and corn syrup, I can visualize their immunity dropping and the toxins building. I feel a lot better about whole foods ingredients that are minimally processed, and you’d be surprised at how good whole foods taste!
With that in mind, we decided to make our own version without using corn syrup at all, and using minimally refined cane brown sugar, grass fed butter, organic heavy whipping cream, and honey. These aren’t ingredients that you want to consume in large quantities, but they are a yummy treat once in awhile. Try our version for a healthier treat, and let us know what you think!
This sauce is versatile enough to use as a caramel apple dip, to make caramel apples, to top off your ice cream, or to drizzle over warm apple pie. Let us know how you use it, and enjoy your treat!
I would absolutely love to see your photos of the healthier caramel sauce that you make. Please add them to the comments below.