It is apple season and my kids absolutely love dipping apples in caramel. I used to buy the Marzetti caramel dip thinking was giving my kids a healthy snack because they were eating apples. The apples might have been healthy, but the caramel dip is another scary story. The ingredients in the Marzetti caramel dip found in the grocery stores are as follows: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Skim Milk, Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Butter (Milk, Cream, Salt), Modified Corn Starch, Disodium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate, TBHQ, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Artificial Flavors. Most of these ingredients are at-risk GMO. For a description of these ingredients, please reference my label library.
I thought to myself, there has to be a better way, and there is! This caramel dip I am going to share with you today has only 4 ingredients, only 4! Not only does it have only 4 ingredients, the ingredients are good for you and promote health! The main ingredient in this dip is dates.
When it comes to the number of minerals, vitamins, and health-benefiting phytonutrients in dates, suffice it to say there are a lot of them. First and foremost, they’re easily digested, allowing your body to make full use of their goodness.
Dietary fiber in dates helps to move waste smoothly through your colon and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol absorption by binding with substances containing cancer-causing chemicals. The iron content, a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, determines the balance of oxygen in the blood. Potassium, an electrolyte, helps control your heart rate and blood pressure. B-vitamins contained in dates, such as the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, absorb into the retina to maintain optimal light-filtering functions and protect against macular degeneration.
Dates also contain vitamins A and K. Vitamin A protects the eyes, maintains healthy skin and mucus membranes, and even protects the lungs and mouth from developing cancer. Tannins, which are flavonoids as well as polyphenolic antioxidants, fight infection and inflammation and help prevent excessive bleeding (anti-hemorrhagic). Vitamin K is a blood coagulant that also helps metabolize your bones.
Copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin are also present in dates and provide their own unique preventive and healing functions.
Together, these cofactors help your body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eating dates in moderation can contribute to many health benefits, such as protecting against damage to cells from free radicals, helping preventing a stroke, coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. (Source)
You will feel so much better eating this and feeding this to your kids instead of the fake stuff!
Real Caramel Dip
1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. I let mine process for about 6 minutes to get it extra smooth and creamy. Timing will vary depending on your food processor. (You will need to occasionally scrap down the sides.)
2. If you double the recipe, it will be easier to process if you have a larger capacity food processor.
3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Tools Use for this Recipe
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“When you know better, you do better.”