(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.
While all 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 cups
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.)
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.
About the author: Want more natural grocery shopping guidance or recipes? Christy Pooschke is author of "Eating Additive-Free" - a natural cookbook & grocery shopping guide. She is also the founder of a natural health online community packed with hundreds of natural recipes, an additive-free grocery shopping guide, natural living discussion forums, hundreds of holistic health and inspirational videos...and more! JOIN today! Christy developed a passion for holistic health after relieving her own Fibromyalgia symptoms through natural diet and lifestyle changes in 2007. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to inspire and encourage others to take control of their own health.