Sunday, October 10, 2010

An apple a day...or two, or three


Mares eat oats and does eat oats....and little Lillie does too! Finally. We received the go ahead for Lillie to integrate oats into her diet once again. That may not seem terribly exciting to most people, but I was practically dancing in the streets. I kind of went a little crazy with Bob's Gluten Free Certified Oats and Oat flour---I ordered a case. I only have 2 small bags left! I made oatmeal cookies, brownies, blondies and my favorite apple crumble!

I have a favorite streusel topping recipe that is really healthy. Although I had been using it for years, I had to cease and desist while Lillie was off oats for the past year. It comes from Susan G. Purdy's book Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too. While most streusel recipes consist of flour, sugar and cinnamon, Purdy's is mainly oats. I had to tweak Purdy's formula to remove small amounts of wheat germ and Grape-Nuts cereal called for in the recipe. But, it remains crunchy and delicious due to the oats. If you can eat nuts, add 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts to up the crunch factor.

If you live in a region where apples are grown, now is the time for harvesting them. Many farms open part of their groves to the public for a fee. Apple picking is a wonderful fall activity for the family. I think it's great to teach the kids that food doesn't grow in the supermarket. As well, there is nothing like taking an ingredient from farm to table in the same day. The recipe below is very kid friendly in terms of making and eating!

This recipe can be made with many combinations of fruit; berries and plums work well too. But being apple picking season, you may have an excess on hand. I like to use Granny Smith apples in pies and crumbles, as their tartness contrasts nicely to the sugar in these dishes. But, you may use any firm, slightly tart apple for this recipe.

Favorite Apple Crumble

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced (1/4 inch thick slices)
2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
1/3-1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

(adapted from Susan G. Purdy's Oat Streusel Topping, p. 429, Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too)

1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (I used Jules' brand)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup certified gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple or orange juice

Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Place apples in the pan. Sprinkle with remaining filling ingredients and toss together with a mixing spoon or your hands, until apples are well coated. Pat down the apples so they are evenly spread out across the baking pan.

For the topping, combine and toss together all the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add the extract, oil and juice and blend with a fork, or toss with you fingers until everything is combined. The mixture will be crumbly, not smooth like a batter.

Spread the topping evenly over the apple mixture. Pat down gently with your hands.

Bake at 350F degrees for 50-60 minutes. Poke a fork in the apples to make sure they are tender. Topping should be a dark golden brown. May be served warm or cold.

Serving suggestion: Best served warm with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream or non-dairy whipped topping.

Yield: 8 servings

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