Oil-free, Gluten-free Apple Caramel Cookies


Several years ago, I purchased a dehydrator to explore raw food. Raw food enthusiasts claim that more nutrients and enzymes are maintained by avoiding heat. While I think it’s great to keep as many nutrients as possible, I don’t think an exclusively raw diet is a great fit for Northern climates. Can you imagine no warming soup in the winter? No thanks!

Having said that, I do like experimenting with various raw treats…mostly fruit leather. My boys and daughter-in-law absolutely love my dehydrated watermelon…it tastes like cotton candy!

I had a few apples that were starting to soften, and, in my efforts to avoid food waste, I thought I would experiment with making an apple cookie. I thought adding dates would lend a caramel-like flavour, and created a “paste” by slowly adding water to dates in the food processor. This worked really well and allowed for even distribution. Of course, cinnamon always works with apples, so, with that in mind, I got to work!

This recipe can be easily adapted for a conventional oven. I made a batch using each method. While the dehydrator resulted in a chewier cookie, both approaches worked well. It’s nice that no added oils were used, they’re naturally sweetened, and no flours were used making them gluten free.

If you try them, I hope you enjoy!

2 lbs of apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Grate apples and sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon. Set aside. Using a food processor, create a date “paste” by slowly adding water to dates while food processor is running. Once you’ve created a paste, add to apples and mix well. Add raisins and incorporate well. Spoon onto dehydrator sheets or baking sheet if using conventional oven.

If using dehydrator, set dehydrator to 120 degrees for 12 – 14 hours. If using conventional oven, set to 200 degrees for 2 – 3 hours.

Cookies will be chewy and have a consistency similar to fruit leather.

Store in air-tight container in fridge.