Eat Well Oct. 15. 2013

Raw Caramel with Apples

Oct. 15. 2013
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

A 100% raw recipe that takes no more than 5 minutes to make.

Raw Caramel with Apples. A raw, sweet, ooey-gooey, caramel dip perfect for those of you wanting an alternative to traditional caramel which involves cooking, refined sugars, and dairy. This Raw Caramel is so simple to make that you may start making only this caramel recipe and not bother with the other time-consuming recipes…bold statement, I know! My Raw Caramel is made with only wholesome, raw, natural ingredients and takes no more than 5 minutes to make!

Traditional caramel is made of heavy cream, refined sugar, and vanilla and also takes hours to cook which requires a certain finesse, but of course tastes delicious. Since we’re dairy free here on Nutrition Stripped, I wanted to make an alternative to one of my favorite fall desserts and treats, caramel apples! Caramel is a sweet treat that I missed when first going dairy free many years ago- that was until this recipe was accidentally discovered in my kitchen.

I was making a raw pie crust (similar to Raw Peach Tart) filled with dates, maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt, coconut oil, and chopped almonds; I was pureeing the crust and let it blend far too long creating a much thinner texture than I needed for the crust. After a taste test, which was delicious, I added in more coconut oil and it reminded me of caramel in texture from the chewy dates with a slightly sweet flavor. A couple experimentations later, embracing the great qualities of creamy almond butter, thick and gooey dates, slightly sweet maple syrup and honey, and the smooth emulsifying nature of coconut oil, this caramel was created.

This Raw Caramel is called raw, well simply because there is NO cooking involved, and the only ingredients used are raw and unprocessed, such as dates, maple syrup, organic coconut oil, and raw almond butter. The texture should be just as displayed below in the picture- thick enough to stick on an apple but also thin enough to make ribbons off your spoon when holding up. This Raw Caramel is perfect for a decedent drizzle over BanaNO Cream, Raw Peach Tart, or any other fruit you enjoy (pears, bananas, peaches, strawberries, etc.).


Raw Caramel with Apples is perfect for a holiday gathering, party, or just hanging with friends at home. Speaking of, I actually shared this recipe out on my lovely group of friends on Sunday in celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving (a tough job they had right?). It’s easy to make, affordable, and not to mention contains nutrition benefits that traditional caramel lacks including protein, fiber, healthy MCT oils (from the coconut oil), vitamins E, B2, B3, folate, and minerals manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, and phosphorus. Let’s compare that with traditional caramel: sugar, saturated fat (not the beneficial MCT kind), and minimal vitamin A and D.


If you don’t have a Vitamix no worries, soak the dates ahead of time to soften and then use smaller quantities in your standard blender or food processor. You may not get the texture as smooth as with a Vitamix, but you will still be able to combine it very well.

After you make this recipe and taste this deliciousness for the first time, I guarantee you’ll say “How is this not real caramel?!”. A friendly disclaimer about this Raw Caramel, just as traditional caramel is used in “moderation”, so should this recipe. Simply be mindful of your scoops because this.is.addicting. (end disclaimer and warning) haha.

What would you use this Raw Caramel with? Share below friends!

Have a sweet day,


The Recipe




1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup organic coconut oil

1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 dates, pitted

1 tablespoon of local honey

1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)


Simply blend all of the ingredients together into a Vitamix or high-speed blender until thick and smooth.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

You may chill this after serving (if you have leftovers).

You will need to sit it at room temperature before eating again as the coconut oil will solidify.


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