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Looking for a healthy and delicious dessert to celebrate all the flavors of fall? This Healthy Caramel Apple Dessert Bars recipe is it. While this post is sponsored, all opinions and the recipe are my own.
Healthy Caramel Apple Dessert Bars
Fall is here and the weather will start to get cooler. Am I the only one that wants to cuddle with a good book and eat my way through October, November, and December? There are sooo many tempting eats and treats out there right now, fall flavors have taken over my Facebook and Pinterest feeds. Not that I am complaining, I love fall flavors, but I still like to eat healthy (well, healthier) as it’s good for me, and shows my kids how important a healthier lifestyle is.
My husband loves apple pie, and when I saw that Crunck Pak Apples was a part of the Produce for Kids campaign that partnered with Publix and Feeding America this fall to raise funds for local food banks located in the communities Publix serves, I grabbed a few bags of Crunch Pak peeled slices and thought about how I could create an apple dessert that was light, delicious, and somewhat easy. The most important part of any recipe (besides that it’s delicious, of course) is that YOU can make it at home.
I wanted an easy crust, but homemade, that would add a touch of flavor. I wanted it to be light and airy…with apples, and I needed caramel. Caramel and apples are a match made in heaven, aren’t they? So, how do you get all that into a dessert without all the guilt? I will admit, it took a LOT of brainstorming, but my family and I were very happy with the results. And I hope that you are too.
The crust of these Light Caramel Apple Dessert Bars is low fat nilla wafers, flour, and a touch of butter.
The “filling” of these Light Caramel Apple Dessert Bars is similar to a homemade applesauce mixed with low fat whipped topping.
And finally, the Caramel is also low fat. Yes, it is possible. You can have your Caramel Apple fix this fall season and not feel guilty. And here’s how….
This is my Healthy Caramel Apple Dessert Bars Recipe, be sure to Print It and Pin It so that you can make it again and again.
Healthy Caramel Apple Dessert Bars
Apple filling Ingredients
- 1 12 oz. bag peeled Crunch Pak apples
- 4 oz water
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- Dash of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 8 oz tub of lite whipped topping
- 20 reduced-fat vanilla wafers
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter cut up
Caramel Drizzle Ingredients
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Dash of kosher or sea salt
- 2/3 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Apple Filling Instructions
- Place the bag of peeled Crunch Pak apples into a saucepan.
- Add the water, sugar and lemon juice and simmer over a low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the apples are tender and just starting to break up.
- Put the prepared apples into food processor.
- Add cinnamon and vanilla into the food processor.
- Blend until smooth, will resemble applesauce.
- Add the apple mixture to a medium bowl and mix in the whipped topping with spatula until it's blended in.
- While the apples are cooking, prepare the crust.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil.
- Combine ingredients in food processor, blend until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press onto bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake 15 minutes.
- When the crust is done in the oven, allow it to cool and pour the apple/whipped topping mixture on top.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Caramel Drizzle Instructions
- In a small saucepan, combine light brown sugar, cornstarch and salt.
- Add milk and cook over medium heat, until desired thickness.
- Remove from heat, add vanilla and stir to combine.
- Once the apple bars have been refrigerated for at least 3 - 4 hours, make the caramel drizzle.
- Add the drizzle to prepared dessert.
I hope you enjoy these Light Caramel Apple Dessert Bars as much as we do!
I know I mentioned that Crunch Pak Apples were a sponsor of the Publix and Produce for Kids campaign that runs NOW to Nov. 1, but I also wanted to let you know that the campaign is supported by 10 participating fresh fruit and vegetable companies. When Publix grocery shoppers support these brands by purchasing their products at stores during the campaign period, a consumption-based donation will be made to Feeding America.
Here are the sponsors to keep a look at for a Publix to help support Feeding America:
- Eat Smart® Fresh Cut Vegetables & Salads
- Avocados From Mexico
- CMI Orchard Apples
- Crunch Pak® Sliced Apples
- Del Monte® Fruit Naturals® Cups
- Fresh Express® Packaged Salad
- Little Bear Brand® Sweet Onions
- Michigan Apples
- Tsamma Juice
- Marie’s® Dressings
1 in 8 Americans struggles with hunger. Now is the time to join Produce for Kids and Publix to fight hunger in the Southeast. Look for the Produce for Kids logo near participating produce brands in all Publix stores to help make a difference.
In-store displays and signage will display Produce for Kids messaging and housing recipe card takeaways in Publix produce departments and will list all partnering produce companies.
In fact, be sure to check out ProduceForKids.com for more than 350 registered dietitian-approved and family-tested recipes, meal planning tools, grocery store specific campaign details, and healthy tips from real parents and on Facebook and Pinterest for even more!
What is one of your favorite fall desserts?