Apple Crisp

Apple season reminds me of my grandparents. I spent countless hours baking apple crisps with my Grandmother (actually I was probably just eating the crisp topping, but she still let me bake with her anyway) and making apple cider with my Grandfather’s MacGyver-style apple cider juice press. I also spent a large part of my childhood in their backyard under the apple tree. Apples hold a very special place in my heart. In case you’d like to learn more about Apples, check out this post about apples or this post

This recipe is inspired by the crisps I made with my grandmother, but uses gluten-free oats, coconut sugar (a lower-glycemic sugar than cane sugar), and grass-fed butter. 

Apple Crisp

cleaneatingwithkatie
I made countless apple crisps with my grandmother as a child and so this recipe holds a special place in my heart. I've made a few upgrades to this recipe to make it a wee bit healthier, but I'm sure you'll love it just the same.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • cups gluten free oats
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grass-fed butter room temperature
  • 6 cups apples cored, peeled, sliced

Instructions
 

  • NOTE: To peel, core, and slice the apples. I really like using an "apple peeler-corer-slicer". I have the one from Pampered Chef.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Add the apples to a 9" pie pan. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to a medium bowl. Add slices of butter to the bowl and cream the butter and dry ingredients until well incorporated. 
  • Spread the crisp topping over the apples. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
  • Bake for 35 minutes and then remove the aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until apple juices start bubbling at surface and knife inserts easily into apples. 
Keyword apple crisp, apple dessert

Why I Only Eat Apples from August-January

Apple season begins in late July/early August in the northern hemisphere. and yet most people tell me that they didn’t know that apples had a “season”. We can thank the BigAg Industrial Complex for not knowing that, and spoiler alert – everything that grows (fruits, vegetables, seeds, & nuts) has a season.

Depending on when you are reading this, it’s likely that your apples are a year old.

When I was younger, I remember eating really mealy red delicious apples and deciding that I really don’t like apples. It wasn’t until the puzzle pieces clicked and I realized I just don’t like year old apples that you find at continental breakfasts and oftentimes at the grocery store.

Apple picking season begins in late July and ends in late November, depending on the variety and latitude.

From the USDA AgResearch Magazine:

“Pick an apple off the tree and it’ll last a few weeks before it starts to turn soft and rot. Store an entire harvest under controlled-atmosphere conditions and it’ll last up to 10 months, depending on variety.

To slow the proverbial sands of time, some fruit distributors treat their apple bins with a gaseous compound, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP). It extends the fruits’ poststorage quality by blocking ethylene, a colorless gas that naturally regulates ripening and aging.”

Maybe the texture of apples doesn’t bother you, but the other problem with old apples is a lack of nutrients. Antioxidant levels decrease as apples age. According to Jo Robinson, in Eating on the Wild Side, “…you would have to eat two long-stored apples to get the same anticancer benefits as one freshly harvested apple”. 

So the next time you’re out shopping, I encourage you to consider the time of the year before buying apples.

xoxo, Katie

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Persimmons

Persimmons are not a “new” food for me, however, I’m not a big fan of them. This is probably the only fruit that I don’t really like. From what I gather, if you grew up eating them (probably because you had a tree in your yard – at here in silicon valley), you like them, if you didn’t grow up eating them, eh, no so much. You guessed it, I didn’t have a tree in my yard or in any of my relatives’ yards. And while I don’t have many recipes for using persimmons, I have made a seasonal salad at Thanksgiving that included persimmons, and it was delish!

Jennifer Tyler Lee recommends baking persimmons, making a persimmon cake, or making persimmon chips.

Food Facts:

  • Persimmons are a relative of the apple and the pear.
  • Good source of vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K,  maganese, potassium, and copper.
  • Good source of fiber.
  • Persimmons contain antioxidant carotenoids, including: lycopene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and phenols.
  • Because of the nutrients they possess, persimmons are heart protective.
  • Studies have also shown that persimmons have an anti-viral effect.
  • In season in late fall and early winter.
  • A new study shows persimmons being used to combat breast cancer cells while not harming regular breast cells. This is due the content of fisetin, a flavonoid.
  • Originally from Asia.
  • There are two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. The astringent persimmons are bitter when eaten raw.
  • Fuyu are best peeled and eaten raw and can be eaten while the fruit is still firm.
  • Hachiya are best used for baking. They are also commonly dried by hanging them from a string and allowing the sun to “candy” them.
  • Hachiya have an elongated shape and the Fuyu are short and stout.

From:

The 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Superfoods by Tonia Reinhard, http://blog.outoftheboxcollective.com/recipes/glorious-persimmons/ and http://foodfacts.mercola.com/persimmon.html.

 

The 52 New Foods Challenge – Pears

The 52 New Foods Challenge Food of the Week: Pears

Jennifer Tyler Lee suggests making a pear sauce – like apple sauce or in a winter fruit salad (I made a similar one for Christmas). Mmmmm!

Food Facts: 

  • Pears ripen in late summer to mid fall, if you’re buying pears at any other time, they are either imported or have been in cold storage, like apples
  • Apples and pears are from the same food family and are very similar, except the flesh of pears contains stone cells, often called grits
  • Good source of vitamins C, E, B2, and K and potassium and copper
  • Good source of fiber
  • It is an anti inflammatory and it counters atherosclerosis, a common problem in cardiovascular disease
  • They are good for lowering cholesterol
  • Often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit because they are less likely to cause a reaction
  • Contains antioxidants called phenols
  • Antioxidants levels maintain even when cooked- this makes Jennifer Tyler Lee’s pear sauce an even better idea!

From The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 Recipes by Jennifer Tyler Lee, Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno, and Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet by Tonia Reinhard

In Season, in October

October is finally here! I love PUMPKINS more than just about anything, so I am a excited that October is upon us. I’m not a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) girl, actually I don’t even drink coffee. I don’t like artificially flavored things, so even if I drank coffee, you couldn’t get me near it (no judgements if you are a PSL person)! With that said I do love to bake and cook with pumpkin puree. 

My other favorite on this list is butternut squash. I’ll be posting my favorite butternut squash soup recipe soon. Keep your eyes peeled! What’s your favorite thing on the list?

Hugs & Health (and Pumpkins too!) <3

Katie

 

 

In Season, in November

A new month is here and with it comes new fruits and veggies.  My favorite item on this list is Brussels sprouts. I could eat them nearly everyday. My other favorites on this list are Pears, Winter Squash, and Radishes.

I love roasting radishes with butter – they taste just like roasted new potatoes (a great alternative for those avoiding nightshades!).  What’s your favorite thing on the list?

Hugs & Health <3

Katie

In Season, in September

 

In September, I feel like summer foods are starting to “die down”, so in my mind, this is the one last month to get the summer foods in before they start disappearing for the season. I’m always excited to see apples appear back on the seasonal lists because I usually start boycotting apples in January/February. (They are about 3-6 months old by that point and to me, they begin to get that mealy texture around then.)

Go to your local farmer’s market this weekend and get some local food!

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie