Samoa Apple Slices

I was inspired to create this recipe by a Delish video I saw on Facebook. What a cute, creative concept! The only problem? The recipe calls for jarred caramel sauce! Conventional caramel and all of it’s artificial additives is definitely not a part of my lifestyle. But being located in New York City, surely that’s not the only option! Surely there is some artisanal jar of coconut sugar turned caramel made in small batches in some trendy Brooklyn neighborhood?! I didn’t even do the research on that because I’m pretty sure it’s out of my budget and I know I can do it myself in 5 minutes for $5 bucks with the help of the Magic Bullet. Boom! Caramel sauce -- hacked!

If the caramel in this photo looks lumpy, it's because I already added the coconut and walnuts for the Samoa Apple Slices. Omit those ingredients for a smooth, silky, versatile caramel.

If the caramel in this photo looks lumpy, it's because I already added the coconut and walnuts for the Samoa Apple Slices. Omit those ingredients for a smooth, silky, versatile caramel.

Introducing date caramel. Sticky, sweet, affordable, and with no artificial ingredients, this simple technique is going to be a huge step up for all of your clean treats. You can swirl it through Flourless Chocolate Cake prior to baking, spread over a slice of Kitchen Sink Quick Bread, or substitute for glaze on a batch of Pumpkin Spice Cookies. The possibilities are endless, and I want to see you get creative! I would love if you shared your favorite way of using date caramel in either the post comments section or on Instagram!

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This recipe is FAST you guys. Set the dates to boil while you melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, slice the apples. By that time the dates are ready to go into the blender with the rest of your ingredients! Start to finish, I’d say max 15 minutes. Ordering a box of Samoa Girl Scout cookies? 4-6 weeks? And this is without mentioning the pros and cons for your health. The choice is yours!

Samoa Apple Slices

These healthy bites make a great after-school snack for the kids or light dessert for the whole family! Made primarily from fruits, nuts, and seeds, clean eating has never been so cute.

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates (about 32 dates)

½ cup sunflower seed butter

½ cup coconut flakes

¼ cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

3 oz dark chocolate

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

3 large apples

Directions

Place dates in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Heat on the stovetop until water is boiling, remove from heat and strain dates. Reserve this cooking water!

Place dates into a high speed blender (I love my Magic Bullet) along with sunflower seed butter and 1 tablespoon date cooking water. Pulse until completely blended. If mixture is having trouble coming together, add date cooking water, 1 scant tablespoon at a time, until it blends properly and is the texture of caramel. Add coconut flakes, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse gently just until combined.

Melt chocolate, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and salt together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each one. I suggest pulling the mixture out of the microwave when the chocolate is approximately 75% melted, and stirring to completion. This is a basic method of tempering the chocolate. which prevents the chocolate from burning and gives it a shiny finish.

Turn apples on their side and slice down at ¼ inch intervals to make horizontal cross sections. If you have a small ring mold or circular cookie cutter, use that to remove the seeds from the center. Otherwise, use a small paring knife. I found it quite easy to keep the knife pressed against the cutting board with my right hand, and to rotate the apple against the knife with my left hand (versus holding the apple still and moving the knife).

Top each apple slice (you have enough caramel topping for approximately 12 slices) with 1 heaping tablespoon of topping. Drizzle with melted chocolate and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes so topping and chocolate can firm up. Best served immediately, but will last in the fridge for as long as the sliced apples will (1-2 days).