If you’re a parent trying to feed your children a nutritious diet, you probably know that putting the kibosh on all sweet treats is not a great strategy for success. Besides becoming the least popular person in the house, your kids will still find a way to get their sugar fix. Whether it’s a friends house, a vending machine in the school hallway, or a gas station they can walk to, kids will find sugar. And likely, they’ll overdo in response to restriction.
So what’s the solution? Make healthy version of their favorites. Invest some time in mastering a handful of recipes that will ensure that your children don’t feel left out and understand that food does not require tip-toeing around.In particular, it’s important to have healthier alternatives for special occasion food, such as a birthday cake recipe or Christmas cookies, and seasonal food, such as this incredibly simple Caramel Apple Dip.
Caramel apples are a jaw-achingly sweet herald of the Halloween and fall season. Made from dipping whole or sliced apples into warm liquid sugar which then hardens into a shell, caramel apples are a dentist’s nightmare…unless it’s my version!
This wholesome, naturally sweetened caramel dip doesn’t have the viscous, sticky texture of traditional caramel, but it is too delicious to matter. Dates are known as nature’s candy for good reason, and they blend up perfectly into a luscious, creamy dip. This dip also packs a nutritional punch, as dates are high in fiber and potassium, and coconut milk contains heart-healthy fats.
Best of all, this recipe couldn’t be easier! You can double the batch and keep it around as a sweet treat for a variety of other uses besides enjoying with apple slices. Here are some creative ideas that your kids will love:
- Spread onto a peanut butter or almond butter sandwich
- Use as a dip for other fruit such as strawberries or bananas
- Use as a topping for ice cream, or swirled into oatmeal
- Make a chocolate milkshake with ice, almond milk, frozen banana and a scoop of this dip
Healthy Caramel Apple Dip
3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, full-fat)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (sub 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Place dates in a bowl and add boiling water. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then drain completely. Add dates, coconut milk, sea salt and vanilla to a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Enjoy!
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Laura Lea is a Certified Holistic chef, recipe developer and food writer based in her hometown of Nashville. Her company LL Balanced is at your service to provide easy, nutritious, family-friendly recipes that will make eating healthy a pleasure and restore balanced to your life. Laura Lea is a Certified Holistic Chef, not a registered dietician, nutritionist or doctor, and her opinion should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult one such licensed professional before making any significant changes to your diet.