This post first appeared on Fiterazzi, where I have been guest posting before really revving my engines here on Week of Plenty.
I’ll admit, when I read a recipe with a label like “Chocolate Cake – Made Healthy!” I run in the other direction.
As great as I feel after making a healthier dessert choice, the idea of, say, a peanut butter cookie without all the good stuff in it just isn’t that appealing.
But maybe that’s understandable. In many grocery stores across the country, the “health food” aisle is still full of rows and rows of artificial sweeteners, strange thickening agents, and ingredients with weird names, like maltodextrin and cellulose.
In my head, “healthy” versions of desserts are low-fat imposters full of strange fillers. But when you’re cooking at home, it doesn’t have to be like that.
In fact, sometimes cutting back on something here, omitting something there and taking a recipe down to its most important ingredients brings out flavors you never noticed before. Sometimes when you simplify a recipe, you make it healthy without even realizing.
Take this apple crisp. Without the buckets of sugar (and not to mention the overload of spices, like nutmeg, cloves, and allspice) clouding things up, the flavor of the apples comes through in a completely different way. The tangy lemon juice makes it bright and the cinnamon doesn’t have to compete with all those other spices.
And the topping? Suuuper crumbly and crisp with maple syrup and coconut oil instead of butter. And the spelt flour and almond meal make it extra hearty.
Now you know what to do with that big bowl of apples on your countertop. Being snowed in never sounded so good.
- 2 lbs (3-4 large) apples, Honeycrisp or another sweet-tart varietal
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup rolled oats (regular, although quick-cooking would probably work)
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ cup spelt flour
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Peel, core, and slice apples in ¼-inch crescents. Toss together with lemon juice, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch, and spread into an even layer in a 2-qt glass or ceramic baking dish (an 8 x 8 inch dish should do).
- To make the topping, stir together oats, almond meal, spelt flour, coconut sugar, and salt, then drizzle on maple syrup and coconut oil and combine with a fork until crumbles form.
- Cover apples with an even layer of topping and bake for 45 minutes - an hour, checking every 15 minutes to make sure the top isn’t burning. If it starts to brown too much, cover the dish with foil for the remainder of the baking time.
- Let cool for 10 minutes (or at least try!). Serve it up with a scoop of ice cream!
The Waco Vegan is no longer updated. You can find me over at RandleBrowning.com instead.