This week I accidentally made caramel, unintentionally creating my own caramel apple sauce recipe. I was looking for a way to eat apples, which are normally healthy, and drown them in vegan butter and sugar. Turns out that butter + sugar = caramel.

I’m not complaining. I got to eat my apple drowned in caramel sauce and topped with a not-so-tiny dash of cinnamon. But I had to juggle feeding grapes and cucumber pieces to my bearded dragon Moose, who was crawling around on (and almost off) the counter beside me, and simultaneously trying to control my impromptu caramel sauce. My quiet morning quickly turned into a hectic one.

If I were to try to make this delicious snack again, there are ways to keep it under control. First, knowing that you are making a caramel sauce would help. You start with a couple of tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. I didn’t know this before I started, but the correct measurement is six tablespoons of butter to every one cup of sugar. Then you add the apples to simmer for a minute and dump the light brown sugar on top, stirring frequently. The sauce forms from the brown sugar and butter, and thickens as the apples soften and absorb the sauce.

Sounds yummy, right? But it’s not finished. You cook the apples in this manner for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce starts sticking to the spoon, and then take them off the heat. Don’t pull them directly out of the frying pan when you do, however, because you want the apples to continue absorbing the sauce while the mixture thickens and cools.

This process is similar to how you cook meat which is called “resting” the meat. If you cut it immediately after pulling it out of the oven or off the frying pan, the blood will run out and your meat is left dry. Don’t let your apples dry out. Believe me, you want every ounce of that brown sugar to melt into your apples. Absolute flavor explosion.

The flavors are made better by the textures of this snack. Even cooking the apples on medium-high heat for a good 10 minutes leaves them with a little bit of crunch. They are soft and melted on the outside, rich with flavor from the brown sugar and butter, and then crunchy on the inside, which helps retain some of that crisp apple tart as well.

Have I mentioned I’m not a food expert? But from what I’ve seen on TV, it seems like balancing a dish is important, and I think I (accidentally) hit this dish on the head.

Although I may have intentionally ruined a healthy snack with butter and sugar, I think it still is healthier than some other snacks I have been eating lately, namely my two good friends, carbs and fat.

Apples are really high in fiber, which, as we get older, becomes more and more necessary to maintaining a high metabolism. By eating this snack in place of bread or chips, you are helping your body out. I also heard recently that eating snacks and meals at close to the same time every day helps your metabolism out as well. Just a little factoid to carry around with you today.

I hope all of you take snacking as seriously as I do (ha), but don’t be afraid to experiment. You never know what path you will be led down, which in my opinion lends a little excitement to each day. Have a good one!

One apple, cut into bites
Two tablespoons vegan butter
⅓ cup brown sugar

Place butter in frying pan and melt over medium heat. Mix in apple bites and brown sugar. Stir for ten minutes. Take off heat and let sit for two minutes. Serve and enjoy.