I have a confession to make. I have a sweet tooth and sometimes I eat sugar. No, not the processed kind, but sugar nonetheless. But here’s the thing, when its not processed, even sugar is nutritious. Which is why it is so important to not buy any sugar that is refined. Why would you give up nutrition just because you want the white color? Or because you can shop for it at your local grocery store? If you are one of the people I’m talking about, remember why we eat food. It’s nourishment for our bodies. I understand sometimes you just want to reach for that powdery white melt-in-your-mouth sugar, but don’t do it! That doesn’t mean you can’t eat something like this, Coffee Cake Crumble Caramel Apple Bite, when you have a sweet tooth.
I want to reference one of my favorite books, The Science of Skinny, because Dee McCaffrey (who was a chemist for the CDC), does a great job of explaining why it makes such a difference to eat unprocessed foods. “Many people have a false understanding about sugars in general. The popular notion is that sugar is sugar–whether it comes from white sugar, whole sugarcane, honey, or a piece of fruit–and that it all behaves in the body the same way. This is not true. The naturally occurring sugars in whole sugarcane, fruits, milk products, and even maple syrup and raw honey have an advantage over refined sugars in that they are balanced by a wide range of nutrients that aid in the utilization of the natural sugars contained within them.”
So, let’s take Coconut Crystals for example. The cooking process for coconut crystals is much different than processed sugars. In fact, some companies even market it as raw because it is cooked at a low dehydration temperature. Coconut crystals contain over 15 amino acids, vitamin B, Vitamin C, etc. Or, Mascobado, the unrefined cane sugar of the Philippines. Mascobado contains trace minerals–even iron. Or, choose figs and dates. Dates taste very close to caramel when pureed, contain fiber, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium.
There are so many ways you can sate your appetite if you are willing to go the extra mile in preparation. Just think about your great grandmother. I’m betting if you had a conversation with someone who grew up before microwaves, their philosophy on food was really different and they probably had to be much more creative, or kept their meals very simple when in a hurry. I understand that many probably slaved at the stove all day, but luckily, we do live in the age of food processors, microwaves, and other quick meal ways. That only means we have more choices to make. Do you choose to prep your food the day before or do you choose fast food? Do you choose refined sugar, or unrefined?
The choice is yours. *Stepping down from soapbox*
So, back to the recipe. These really taste like coffee cake crumbles with apple and a caramel glaze (I bet this would also be tasty baked if anyone wants to try it and tell me how it turns out:)). They are absolutely delicious and make a great hors d’oeuvre for any party. My favorite part is the raw cacao butter instead of butter. Any excuse to get omegas in my diet!
These are also easily changed to suit any taste buds. Consider adding some extra crunch, like chopped nuts, or, I love the suggestion of chopped mulberries on the blog Feasting on Fruit. Just make sure you serve them freshly refrigerated if you do the mulberries so they are extra crunchy! Or just set out the fruit with toothpicks and toppings in bowls, just like you would for a sundae. Also, if you really want to simplify, you can make the caramel out of pureed dates and water! Crazy, right!?
- 5 granny smith apples
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup dates
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 tbsp coconut oil (OR 1/4 cup+ 1 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp coconut nectar *optional
- 1/2 cup Coconut Crystals (sugar)
- 1/4 cup Mascabado Sugar
- 2 tsp Lacuma Powder
- 1 tbsp Cinnnamon
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1/4 cup melted cacao butter
- 1 cup pureed oats (or oat flour)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- Use a melon baller to "ball" the apple bites
- Set toothpicks in the center of each apple ball
- Puree all of the caramel ingredients until smooth
- Coat the apples in the caramel
- Mix together the coconut sugar, mascabado sugar, lacuma powder, cinnnamon, flour and salt
- Put cacao butter in a double boiler and only keep on low heat until melted
- Mix together and put in fridge until the cacao butter hardens again
- Crumble by chopping up the cacao
- Sprinkle the Coffee Cake Crumble on the apples