the taste space

Raw Caramel Apple (without any apple!)

Posted in Desserts, Favourites by janet @ the taste space on October 17, 2013

Raw Caramel Apple (without any apple!)

I know I said I don’t like to play food guessing games with others. However, Rob is fair game. He gets it all.the.time. More along the lines of How does this taste? Sometimes, What do you think I should add to this? And then the infamous, What does this taste like? Guess what is in it!

You could probably guess just by looking at these photos, but I gave Rob smaller bits to sample. In fact, this was a two-step taste-test. Sauce alone and then after dehydrating it onto the bits.

First of all, this was a real simple recipe. Just whiz the ingredients together for the caramel sauce, stir it onto your “apple” bits and dehydrate for 12 hours.

Even before dehydrating the sauce, I thought it tasted great. Rob agreed. I asked him to guess the ingredients: cinnamon, almonds, and apple. Close: cinnamon, yes; almond butter, yes; but no apple, I informed him. That sweet taste was from dates.

Raw Caramel Apple (without any apple!)

I proceeded with the recipe, and then tried the now dehydrated sauce: oh my gosh, it tasted like sticky, wonderful caramel. Not too sweet, well balanced by the cinnamon. It had coated the “apple bits”. They were soft and sweet. Rob tried it and loved it. He still thought it reminded him of apple. Even though there was still no apple, Rob reminded me I had just created raw caramelized apple. He knew it before I did!

And that secret non-apple? Cauliflower! It really is a textural issue. Crisp yet soft (hard to explain). Sweet. With smaller pieces drenched in the sauce, you would never believe it was cauliflower. Bigger pieces had a more pronounced cauliflower flavour (and a telltale shape), but had a nice crunch.

Dehydrating is a magical thing. Definitely more than the sum of its parts. Looking at the recipe, there is a lot of water. You need it to be able to blend it smoothly, but after dehydrating it away you, the dates are more sweet and caramelized. Eating this straight from the dehydrator, still warm, was a treat. I only wish I had made more, because this did not last long at all.

Trust me, I have nothing against apple. I love apples. I eat a minimum of half dozen a week. I also love dehydrating apples into chips but usually save that when apples are ridiculously cheap in the fall.  I make a small internal sob every time I shell out more than $1/lb for apples, which is the usual in Texas. (Although I nearly flipped out when I saw Honeycrisp apples for only $1.29/lb a few weeks ago.. those are ungoldy expensive in Toronto).

Thus, the question still remains: how would this caramel sauce taste on real apples (in the dehydrator)? I don’t think they would be as crisp, but definitely more sweet. I would be afraid they would collapse more into mush, but if you try it out, please let me know! :)

PS. The winner of The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen giveaway is Gloria. Congratulations!

PPS. I noticed my typo for ungoldy. It was meant to be ungodly, but I like my new word. It fits. :)

Raw Caramel Apple (without any apple!)

This is my submission to this week’s Vegan Potluck LinkyRaw Food Thursdays and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Raw Caramel Apple
Adapted (barely) from Choosing Raw

3 cups cauliflower florets, cut into small-medium sized pieces
5 pitted Medjool dates (traditional dates could be used, but use more and soak them beforehand)
2 tbsp raw almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup water, or as needed

1. If using conventional dates or a regular blender, soak the dates.

2. Otherwise, in a high-speed blender, combine dates, almond butter, cinnamon, salt and water. Blend until completely smooth. Add additional water if needed.

3. In a large bowl, place cauliflower bits. Stir in the sauce and mix well. Lots of sauce is good!

4. Place on a teflex-lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115F for 10-12 hours. Mine was still slightly wet like a caramel sauce. Gena also suggests roasting it at 400F for around 25 minutes until crispy and tender.

5. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Makes 3 cups. Serves 2 (or less).

29 Responses

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  1. Vegan Derby Cat Party said, on October 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Props to you for the inventiveness! I would be too scared to try this one for fear of more pronounced cauliflower sneaking in. One of these days I’ll have to get a dehydrator. It’s a space issue for me.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 20, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      I totally understand about the space issue. It was a tough decision whether I wanted to bring it with me during my move but I am so glad I did. :)

  2. rika said, on October 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    I shopped for some dates from a health food shop in Buenos Aires, man, they were moist and caramelized. These were called, “Mexican Dates”, and I had no idea if it was just a type or if it’s the same as Medjool. What a genius recipe, I like how you’ve used cauliflower florets instead of apples – I’ve seeing a lot of recipes using cauliflower for rice and pasta, and right now dessert!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 20, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      It is funny because when I was in Morocco, they had a ton of fresh dates. I asked for the Medjool and they looked at me funny. There were much better ones, they explained. If only I remembered what they were called…. but yes, they were better!

  3. rika said, on October 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    *I saw

  4. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on October 17, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    After my horrendous cauliflower fudge experience, I think I’d probably try this with apple instead ;) The sauce sounds great though!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 20, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      I think chocolate could mask most veggie undertones so if you ever try the cauli fudge again, I will try your successful version. :)

  5. Johanna GGG said, on October 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Janet you are constantly surprising me with your ideas – this is brilliant – I don’t have a dehydrator but I love the idea – wonder if I could fool sylvia into eating cauliflower because she loves apple so much :-)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 20, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Haha, fooling kids can be tricky…. in that case, more sauce, and smaller bits. It is probably because cauliflower has quite a bland taste, I think.

  6. Joanne said, on October 17, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    I feel like munching on these would taste almost like eating apple pie!

  7. dawnhutchins said, on October 18, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    Sneaky! I think this will be my first dehydrator recipe. Printing this out!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 18, 2013 at 7:46 AM

      YES! Tell me how you like it… and then come back on Saturday because I am sharing the BEST raw corn chip recipe!!! :)

  8. coconutandberries said, on October 18, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Cauliflower is officially the new kale! I saw Gena’s recipe and am pleased to see it’s a hit with you. I imagine it would be better in a dehydrator but I might have to try it in my oven as it looks too god to miss out on.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      It is even good without the dehydration, Emma. I think you will really like it…. I have another cauliflower recipe to share and I am totally stealing your “cauliflower is the new kale” thought!! )

  9. kimmythevegan said, on October 20, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Cauliflower huh? I’m intrigued. Sounds tasty =)

  10. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said, on October 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Cauliflower! Wow! What a fun recipe! My poor dehydrator has been off for a week and a half. I need to try this! Thanks for sharing at Raw Foods Thursdays!

  11. […] the whole head of cauliflower, leaves and all. (I used the leftover cauliflower crumbles in the raw caramel apple). Gosh only knows why I always used to discard cauliflower leaves, but it is an edible green. Like […]

  12. Egginon said, on October 23, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Oh my gosh I am 100% trying this. Awesome idea!!

  13. brokencookiesdontcount said, on October 25, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    This sounds really good!

  14. Good good links #10 | Let's get living said, on October 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    […] Raw Caramel Apple (without any apple!) via the taste space […]

  15. Kate said, on October 29, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I think jicama would pair beautifully with this!!!

  16. Jac -Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms) said, on November 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Oh you are sneaky Janet :)

  17. An Unrefined Vegan said, on October 8, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Whoa! Now this is the most interesting use of cauliflower I’ve yet seen!

  18. Kyra said, on October 10, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    Wow! That totally surprised me when I saw you used cauliflower! Very inventive, love it!

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