(NaturalNews) It's that time of year when apples are in season, and folks are celebrating with endless varieties of caramel apple treats. If you avoid refined sugars or pasteurized dairy products in your diet, but you don't want to miss out on the caramel apple goodness of autumn; try the homemade gooey apple dip
recipe included here. It's made without dairy, refined sugars, or a stove.
sweets should be enjoyed in moderation
; this treat actually contains ingredients that contribute
to your good health - lemons, dates and raw honey. Fresh lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, a vital antioxidant that builds up the immune system and neutralizes free radicals to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other health problems. Dates are a great source of fiber and they are packed with potassium and other vitamins and minerals, as well.
Unlike the refined sweeteners found in most caramel dips, the raw honey used in this recipe provides many health benefits. Raw honey is full of vitamins and minerals. It contains high levels of antioxidants and it has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Make sure you purchase honey that is truly
raw because heating (i.e., pasteurizing) honey destroys its natural health benefits. Raw honey is most likely found at your local farmers market, natural food store or the health section at your regular grocer.
Gooey apple dip
Makes about two cupsINGREDIENTS
One half cup of grapeseed oil
One third cup of fresh lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
One third cup of raw honey
6-8 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
One and a half cups of unroasted/unsalted cashews
(You may need to shop at a natural food store to find cashews that are unroasted and unsalted.)DIRECTIONS
In the order listed above, add all ingredients to a high-powered blending machine (e.g., VitaMix or Blendtec). Blend until completely smooth. Transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge until fully chilled (a few hours). The dip will increase in sweetness and gooeyness as it cools in the fridge. This dip is delicious with any variety of apple slices; however, the contrast of tart green apples
is an especially nice pairing.NOTE
: While the gooey texture of this dip is best achieved using a high-powered blending machine, it is possible
to make this recipe in a food processor. Just substitute three-fourths of a cup of cashew butter for the cashews, and reduce the amount of grapeseed oil from a half of a cup to a fourth of a cup. The dip will taste
great, but it won't be as
smooth and gooey as it is when using a high-powered blender. However, because a food processor won't heat up the dip as much as a high-powered blender, the dip is generally cool enough to enjoy immediately
when made in this fashion.Sources for this article include
:http://grocerygeek.comhttp://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=27http://www.globalhealingcenter.comAbout the author:
Christy Pooschke is author of "Eating Additive-Free"
and founder of CompletelyNourished.com
- a website focused on natural food, holistic health, green living and positive thinking. The online community available through her site features 200+ delicious, natural recipes suited to a variety of dietary restrictions (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian, soy-free, MSPI, etc.). Christy was inspired to help others reduce their reliance on processed foods after resolving her own Fibromyalgia
symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. Want more great tips and recipes for eating an additive-free diet? Subscribe to her natural foods
blog, join her online community
of 1,200+ members, and get yourself a copy of her book - "Eating Additive-Free: Natural Cookbook & Shopping Guide
" (available as a hard copy or e-book).
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