Healthy Skillet Apple Crisp (Vegan, Wheat, Dairy and Sugar Free)Posted: September 15, 2012
After returning from a recent trip where I travelled without Greg (“The Other Half of my Heart and Brain”), we paused and took inventory of all the things I lost along the way: some clothes, my credit card, my car keys (the kind with a computer chip that cost $70.00 to replace), and my camera.
Thankfully the credit card surfaced in a bag I’d left at home. The hotel found my camera and zipped it to me quickly, Fed-Ex. Three days later, my local library called to let me know that Frontier Airlines had my car keys in the Lost and Found. (My library card was attached to my giant key chain. I remembered then that I’d let my grandbaby Jackson play with them on the plane. Let this be a lesson to all: Never trust a 13 month old baby to put your keys back in your purse when he is finished playing with them.) Never found the clothes
Though Greg knows my absent-minded nature all too well, even he was amazed at all I’d managed to misplace in such a short time.
One morning soon after, he came upstairs to our bedroom to wake me up in time for a morning appointment. “Becky,” he asked, “How in the world did you ever wake up without me to help you all those years when you traveled alone, speaking?”
“Well,” I answered sleepily, “the hotels had this thing where you could ask them to call you and wake you up. But I forgot what they call it.”
Greg smiled. “A wake up call.”
“Yeah, that’s it!”
What is funny is the things my brain does remember: every word that Greg said to me when we fell in love, and the sweet things he continues to say to me almost a decade later. Dozens of quotes I’ve found meaningful over the course of my life . Then there are recipes. I have a remarkable taste memory, and can remember a long list of ingredients in recipes I’ve cooked and loved, simply by remembering the taste of it in my mind.
After cooking for years, I can now imagine a dish I’ve never eaten, but would like to try making, and somehow my brain clicks off the ingredients automatically. Thus, the recipe for this skillet apple crisp that turned out exactly as I imagined it would: buttery, not-too-sweet, crunchy and rustic. It has no refined sugars, but is made with natural coconut sugar and tad of pure maple syrup. (It is easy to find coconut sugar these days in the baking aisle: I found this bag at a local Wal-mart.) The topping has no flour: it is all oats and nuts and seeds, giving it a fabulous crunchy texture. It is loaded with fiber and protein, a comforting autumn dessert, and healthy enough to serve the next day for fruit-nut breakfast oatmeal – re-heated and served with a little milk, cream or almond milk.
Amazing Healthy Skillet Apple Crisp (Wheat, Dairy and Sugar Free)
Ingredients for Apple Layer:
2 T. Earth Balance Butter (or regular butter if you are not vegan)
2 T. coconut sugar
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. cinnamon
3 cups fresh organic apple slices, loosely packed, ¼ inch thick, peel left on (This took about 5 small apples, so I imagine 3 or 4 larger apples would do)
2 T. raisins or dried berries
Ingredients for Topping:
1 c. old-fashioned oats
½ c. nuts (I used walnuts)
2 T. hemp, chia or flax seeds
¼ c. coconut oil (or other healthy oil if you do not have coconut oil on hand)
3 T. coconut sugar
¼ t. salt (unless nuts above are salted, then omit)
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. pure maple syrup
Optional: 2 T. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds for garnish (may also use sunflower seeds or slivered almonds)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a 10 inch iron skillet, melt Earth Balance butter over a low flame. Mix rest of “Ingredients for Apple Layer” into the melted butter.
Put all “Ingredients for Topping” into a food processor, except the maple syrup. Process until mixture is crumbly, about the size of Grape Nuts cereal. Sprinkle over the apples. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of maple syrup over all.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until topping is brown, apples are soft and juices beneath are thick and syrupy. Top with pumpkin seeds, if desired. Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, yogurt or coconut milk-based ice cream.
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