I have recently been feeling in great need of a bit of feng shui in my life; my stress levels are directly correlated with the level of mess my house is currently in. I just cannot relax unless everything (and I do mean everything!) is neatly in it’s rightful place. I grew up in a big farmhouse, that my mother is absolutely determined to fill with as many trinkets and knick knacks as she can possibly buy, and with three younger sisters who have also inherited my mother’s knick-knack shopping gene. I was always determined that my house would be devoid of such rubbish, and I would live in a minimalist, urban space.
However, it seems the Smith Family Shopping Gene is stronger than I thought; the minimalist space I once craved has been leaning more in the direction of ‘bedouin tent’ recently, which is problematic when you live in a one-bedroom flat with no storage space. There is useless junk galore! If it is glittery or colourful looking, I will buy it. I find myself lacking inspiration and creativity when I feel frustrated and restless; and the last week I have felt like I hit a wall in terms of creating recipes. After a day spent reorganising, decluttering and cleaning my flat (and my life!), a rush of inspiration came to me, and I wrote down a HUGE list of exciting things I want to try to ‘unbake’ for this blog. It’s so interesting how the space, and the things you surround yourself with can affect both your mood and your mind.
I have been on a bit of a quest for inner peace in recent months, and as part of that have been learning more about aromatherapy, as I have always used different scents of incense to evoke difference moods. Nag Champa incense is my absolute favourite smell in the world, it’s so heady and rich, and lighting a stick of that just instantly calms and relaxes me. Scents are incredibly powerful and evocative, and cinnamon is said to rouse the appetite, and produce happy feelings.
So I thought, what would be better at evoking happy thoughts and feelings than something loaded with spicy cinnamon, sweet date caramel, and juicy pieces of apple, all wrapped in a deliciously chewy pecan dough. These raw caramel apple bites are incredibly moreish, and are the perfect treat to celebrate the start of Autumn.
For the filling, I made a thick salted caramel with juicy Medjool dates, and added a crisp Jazz apple to help balance out the sweetness. This stuff tastes like the most decadent apple pie filling in the world, and yet it is perfectly, delicously healthy. If you have any leftover filling, I would add this stuff as a topping to banana ice cream too, as it is like apple pie and ice cream! If you haven’t yet tried banana ice cream, you need to freeze yourself some bananas and dust off your blenders asap! I made this bowl by blending 4 frozen bananas, with a little cinnamon and vanilla, and I swirled the leftover filling through, before topping with pecan nuts.
I know it is probably hard to see that these are supposed to be swirls with all that apple filling oozing temptingly out of the top of these little bites, but I spread the filling over the dough, and then rolled the dough over into spirals, like mini cinnamon buns to maximise the amount of filling, packing each bite with heaps of sweet caramel apple.
I like to store these in the freezer, which makes them taste even better the next day , as they get extra chewy, which just increases the deliciousness level!
Just look at all that caramel apple goodness just bursting out of these little bites; how could you possibly resist?! They’re such a great healthy, easy snack, but they taste like dessert, which is always a good thing, right? If you can’t resist making these crazy swirls for yourself, remember to tag me on Instagram, or #rawberryfields in your post so I can see!
- 1 apple (I used Jazz variety)
- 10 (200g approx.) pitted Medjool dates
- 3 Tbsp coconut syrup (OR maple syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
- ¾ cup (82g) pecans
- ¼ cup (40g) ground almonds
- ¼ cup (42g) ground flaxseed
- 7 pitted Medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp coconut syrup (can use water if you prefer)
- Peel the apple and remove the core.
- Place the apple in food processor and pulse until the apple has been chopped into small pieces. Then remove the apple from the food processor and place it in a separate bowl.
- Pit the dates and place them into a blender (or food processor) with the vanilla, salt, coconut syrup, water and cinnamon and blend until you have a smooth caramel.
- In a bowl, mix together the apple and caramel by hand until well combined. Set side whilst you make the dough.
- Place the pecans, flaxseed and ground almonds into a food processor and pulse until the pecans have turned into a coarse flour.
- Add in the dates and maple syrup, and pulse again until the mixture sticks together and has a dough like consistency.
- Dampen your hands slightly, and roll the raw dough into a ball in your hands.
- Roll the dough flat between two pieces of greaseproof paper until it is very thin.
- Cut the rough edges of the dough off to make a square or rectangle shape. Save the excess dough so you can roll it out again.
- Spread a layer of the caramel apple filling over the top of the dough. Be careful as you don't want it to be too thick!
- Cut the caramel apple topped dough into long, thin strips, and gently roll each strip up carefully into small cylinders, making sure you tuck the inside end in tightly.
- Place the rolls into the freezer for an hour to harden so you can cut each cylinder into smaller, flatter bites.
If you want to know more about the ingredients used in this recipe, please visit my ‘Raw Pantry’ page!