Healthy Apple Pie Filling with Dates

This healthy apple pie filling is naturally sweetened with dates, completely raw (so it doesn’t need to be cooked) and perfectly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Apples are one of my favorite fruits. They’re portable, versatile, healthy and they come in so many different varieties. Pink Lady and Honey Crisp are the best varieties (in my opinion) but I also like Fuji and any other variety that’s super sweet and crisp. I can do Granny Smith from time to time as well, but I find others like Red Delicious and Gala too soft or mealy. And if there’s one thing I despise, it’s mealy apples. I just can’t do it.

This fall I’ve been playing around with a bunch of apple recipes. One apple recipe I came up with while experimenting was an apple pie filling of sorts… without any thickeners or processed sugar — just raw chopped apples, date puree and spices.

Straight on image of raw apple pie filling a glass jar.

It turned out to be absolutely delicious! The date puree gives the filling a lovely sweet, caramel flavor and the apples stay nice and crunchy (just the way I like them)! I hadn’t ever used date puree as a sweetener before, but after this recipe I realized that I really like the flavor and I’ve already started experimenting with a couple different ideas (like these almond flour muffins).

Ingredients Needed:

  • apples – I used Honey Crisp + Granny Smith
  • medjool dates – You can buy medjool dates that are already pitted or pit them yourself (it’s super easy). Two brands that I like are Natural Delights and Joolies. You can find Natural Delights in the produce section of most grocery stores (near the bananas) and Joolies are offered on Amazon and Thrive Market.
  • cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • fresh grated nutmeg

Apple Pie Filling Upgrade

This recipe is a real food version of traditional apple pie filling that you’d typically find in a can. No butter, flour or white sugar needed! Ready to see the ingredient list comparison?

Traditional apple pie filling ingredients: apples, (a lot of) sugar, lemon, butter, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, spices and more sugar.

Healthy apple pie filling ingredients: apples, dates, a little water and spices!

Raw apple pie filling a glass jar.

How to Make Healthy Apple Pie Filling

Start by soaking the pitted dates by placing them in a small bowl and covering with water. Allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes.

While the dates are soaking, prep your apples by cutting them and chopping into tiny chunks. If you want your filling to have a smoother texture, I recommend peeling your apples.

When the dates are finished soaking, drain and discard the water. Add the dates, fresh water, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Add more water to thin out the filling if needed. It should be thick but pourable – similar to syrup.

Pour the date puree over the prepped apples and stir to combine.

What to Do with Apple Filling

While I haven’t used this healthy apple pie filling for a proper apple pie, I have used it for a variety of other things! Here’s a little list to get you started. The options are endless!

  • Vegan mini apple pie bites
  • A topping for ice cream
  • Stuffed into crepes
  • As a base for apple crumble
  • Served in a bowl topped with coconut milk whipped cream
  • A topping for oatmeal
  • Stirred into chia pudding
  • Served over pancakes
  • Blending into an apple pie smoothie or milkshake
  • Served over yogurt with granola
  • Eat it by the spoonful (my fave way to enjoy it)

As I mentioned above, I haven’t used this apple pie filling for an actual apple pie just yet. I need to test it because I’m thinking I might need to add additional ingredients (some sort of thickener for it to work, but I’ll keep you posted when I try it.

More Apple Recipes to Try:

If you make this healthy raw apple pie filling please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Raw apple pie filling a glass jar.

Vegan Apple Pie Filling


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1/2 cups
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This healthy apple pie filling is vegan, naturally sweetened with dates and perfectly spiced with ground cinnamon and nutmeg.


Ingredients

  • 3 medium apples, (I used Honey Crisp + Granny Smith), cored and chopped into small chunks*
  • 1 cup mejdool dates, pitted
  • 3/41 cup water, plus additional water for soaking the dates
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Soak dates: Soak the dates by placing in a small bowl with just enough water to cover them. Allow them to sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Prepare apples: while the dates are soaking core and chop the apples into tiny chunks, about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Make date puree: When the dates are finished soaking, drain and discard the water. Add the dates, fresh water (start with 3/4 cup), cinnamon, salt and nutmeg into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add more water to thin the date puree if needed. The consistency should be thick but pourable like syrup.
  5. Pour the date puree over the bowl of apples and stir to combine. At this point your apple pie filling is ready to enjoy! See ideas for how to use it above.
  6. For storing: keep apple pie filling in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days.

Notes

  • If you want a smoother pie filling, you should peel the apples. I don’t mind the texture of apple skin so I didn’t take the time to peel mine.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 112
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 171 mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: healthy apple pie filling

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    17 comments
    1. Kim Jackson
      February 12, 2017 AT 11:08 pm

      I am just sitting here giggling! I wanted an Apple filling recipe. I bought Siggi’s yesterday for the very 1st time. Could not be coincidental. The Lord is just so good with directing me. Thank you! Thank you! For this recipe !I’ve been trying to go raw for 30 years. Tomorrow . . . No resturaunts . . . Me , Apple pie filling and Ziggi’s! What do you think of fungi Apple’s? I also bought one of these, a Granny Smith,and a lady alice apple. I never buy Apple’s either. Well, I’ll let you know how it turned out. Thank you again for an incredible looking Apple filling recipe!

    2. athleticavocado
      October 13, 2014 AT 8:57 pm

      apple pie is always a winner in my book! love this recipe!

    3. Lauren
      October 13, 2014 AT 6:51 pm

      I made this last week and it is soooo goooood! I’ve been eating it on oatmeal and yogurt and it takes breakfast to dessert level 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 14, 2014 AT 1:20 am

        Yay! Thank you so much for trying the recipe. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying it. 🙂

    4. Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen
      October 9, 2014 AT 9:01 am

      Love the idea of using date puree as a healthy and natural sweetener 🙂 Can’t wait to try this!

    5. Mercedes
      October 9, 2014 AT 4:07 am

      I love this recipe, it is such a good idea and you can have it so many ways I will need to make a batch to keep in the fridge for breakfasts!

    6. Parita @ myinnershakti
      October 8, 2014 AT 1:17 pm

      Love this idea! Will definitely be trying it out this weekend!

    7. Janelle @WhollyHealthy
      October 8, 2014 AT 2:57 am

      Yum! Great idea to use the dates

    8. Lori and Michelle (@purelytwins)
      October 7, 2014 AT 9:31 pm

      love apple and dates together!

    9. Inez
      October 7, 2014 AT 5:10 pm

      I love the idea of putting this over pancakes and oatmeal! I always keep dates on hand for snacking and I’m sure they would love to be used for something fun like this.

    10. The Cookie ChRUNicles
      October 7, 2014 AT 4:25 pm

      Love this. And totally love Pink Lady and Honey Crisp!

    11. Alex
      October 7, 2014 AT 3:31 pm

      This is so unique. Definitely not something I would think of right away, but I can see how those flavors come together really well. I can’t wait to see what recipe you have in store using these. And I totally agree, there is nothing worse than a soft apple. It’s not even worth trying to eat sometimes in an effort to “save the apple.”

    12. Carrie
      October 7, 2014 AT 2:18 pm

      I LOVE this idea!!!!! so so clever- we all love the filling!

    13. joannamurnan
      October 7, 2014 AT 2:14 pm

      Wow, what a great idea! I’m going to definitely need to give this a try this fall!

    14. Miss Polkadot
      October 7, 2014 AT 1:51 pm

      The best part of apple pie without messing with finicky pastry crust? Win! A bonus is that these are ingredients I have on hand pretty much all of the time.

    15. sweetsandbeets
      October 7, 2014 AT 1:41 pm

      Such a great idea!! Definitely making this 🙂 🙂 (plus, loveee Siggi’s!)

    16. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
      October 7, 2014 AT 1:19 pm

      yumm-y! great recipe ideas, too!

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