Healthy Skillet Apple Crisp (Vegan, Wheat, Dairy and Sugar Free)

Healthy Apple Crisp

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)

Directions:

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.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Healthy Skillet Apple Crisp (Vegan, Wheat, Dairy and Sugar-free)
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-GO
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Super Food Hemp Chocolate Treats (Candy & Mocha Frappuccino)

I have recently been singing the praises of hemp seeds (“the new flax”), and telling everyone about their health benefits. Of course, every time I mention the word “hemp” someone jokingly asks if I get high from eating hemp seeds.  I say, “No, the Getting High part of the plant is not in the Hemp Seed part.  Really, this is just the way I am normally, organically, without any psychotropic help.”

Which is true.  And probably why I’ve never understood the need or desire to smoke pot or even nibble on a THC-laced brownie. Life in my own natural born head is all the “high” I can handle, and certainly Life with “Normal Becky” is challenging enough for my family without any
“special enhancing.”

I spent a few days in a hotel room with my daughter Rachel last week at a food blogging convention. She was trying so hard to be patient but one morning, in exasperation, she said, “Mom, I know you are somehow trying to be organized, but there are six Ziploc bags on the bathroom counter and all of them are filled with miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t go together in any logical way. Here’s a bag with lipstick, a hair clip, a pen, and a bottle of aspirin. And even the aspirin bottle is filled with everything but aspirin!”

My mind is a place you probably would not want to go into alone, but somehow I’ve managed to get by in this world, probably through the kindness of strangers and an overworked, stressed-out team of angels.

So I don’t touch “recreational drugs,” but I am fascinated by Super Foods that may help  boost brain function.  When researchers found that dark chocolate was full of antioxidants and flavonoids — beneficial for the heart and brain –it was a happy day.  When creamy  coconut oil proved beneficial for digestion, healing and possibly even weight loss;  and crunchy almonds were touted for their anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin E and minerals — things got even happier. And then, hemp seeds were found to be a Super Food. They taste like slightly green sesame seeds and are full of protein (11 grams in 3 Tablespoons) with 10 amino acids, chock full of Omega 3’s and 6’s in perfect balance. A vegan’s dream.

I offer you not just one, but two, recipes that make use of Super Foods and taste irresistibly indulgent.  The mocha hemp  frappuccino  makes mornings worth getting out of bed for.   And the Super Food Dark Chocolate Hemp Candy – let’s just say you are about to meet your new best recipe friend.  A couple of pieces of this sensuous dark chocolate treat  is especially delicious alongside a few fresh berries and a cup of  tea. (For health benefits it is hard to beat white tea.) The additional fiber in the candy makes it surprisingly filling, so as tasty as it is, I don’t find myself over-indulging.

Super Food Dark Chocolate Hemp Candy

Makes about 12 to 15 chocolate drops      

Ingredients

1 3.2 oz bar of 70% chocolate (My favorites are Newman’s Own and Chocolove brands, they are both rich and smooth without bitterness)

2 T. coconut oil

2/3 cup hemp seeds (found in any health store and most large grocery stores on “organic aisle”)

¼ chopped almonds (I love the roasted salted version in this recipe)

2 T. dried cranberries or other chopped dried fruit of your choice (coconut flakes would also be yummy)

Directions:

Slowly and carefully melt chocolate and coconut oil together in a microwave, stopping every 10 seconds to stir and stopping just as soon as chocolate has melted.  Stir in rest of the ingredients until well coated.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined plate or cookie sheet.

Put in fridge (or freezer if you are in a hurry) until firm.  Keep leftover pieces in a tightly covered container in the fridge.

Hemp Mocha Frappuccino

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

½ frozen banana

3 ice cubes

Instant Coffee granules (amount to your taste – I like an organic version that comes in individual sleeves)

1 T. organic corn-syrup free chocolate syrup (such as Ahlaska brand)

1 – 2 T. Hemp Seeds

Directions:

Blend until smooth, serve in a pretty glass cup and wake up happy!

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com

The Title: Super Food Hemp Chocolate Treats (Candy & Mocha Frappuccino)

The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-Fm

© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved