An Apple A Day

I’m working to prove the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. We were given apples from an orchard of somebody at Brian’s work. A lot of apples! So many that I don’t feel bad using them all the time, they seem endless. In fact, I already made some homemade applesauce (amazing recipe from the Against All Grain cookbook, so easy, no added sugar or juice and very tasty!) and didn’t even put a dent in the apple quantity. Other than that I’ve been feeding them to the girls at least once a day with breakfast or lunch. As for me, I am currently obsessed with an apple dessert I created.

I’m embarrassed to admit how often I’ve made this dessert in the last week because that means that I have eaten a lot of it. Brian has eaten very little of the dessert, mostly because he knows how much I am enjoying it (read: I’m not sharing!). You know I’ve made it often when I have a good idea of the measurements and ratios of the ingredients. Usually, I throw things together until they look and taste good but since I’ve made this numerous times I’ve got an idea of the actual quantities involved.

I’m calling this Apple Cookie Crumble:

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Two apples are cut into chunks and sprinkled with cinnamon. The apples are placed in a pan greased with coconut oil. The topping is the fun part! I use about 2 cups of nuts and seeds and process them until they are flour like in texture. I’ve been using 1 cup of peanuts and a mixture of other nuts and pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Almond flour would work too but I tend to have more peanuts on hand. To the nut/seed flour I add 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, and 2 tablespoons coconut flour. I process it all together with some cinnamon and nutmeg until it is crumbly but sticking together. At this point I’ve made something similar to a grain-free cookie base (and it’s pretty yummy eaten just like this too) but to finish the dessert the cookie mixture is scooped and spread on top of the apples to cover them. I cook this at 350 degrees for about 20 mins  and then press a few dark chocolate chips on top to melt into the warm topping.

This dessert has stolen my heart! The apples are soft and warm and the cookie top is a little crumbly, crisp but still soft. Brian enjoyed his with some whipped cream but I prefer mine as is, warm out of the oven. I’ve got some leftovers from making yet another one last night and I’m exercising some serious restraint to not eat it every time I walk by. The only thing stopping me is the fact that if I eat it now, I’ll have to make more for later (problem, I know!) or there definitely won’t be enough for sharing. Apples, warm apples with cookie topping, stop calling my name!

Enjoying my Girls

Yesterday the girls went to the dentist. Poor Izzy’s teeth are a mess and braces are definitely in her future. We took advantage of being in Tacoma on a sunny day and visited the Tacoma Nature Center. The place was really fun. We walked some trails, saw some turtles, and the girls played on a natural scapes playground. We finished our adventure with a picnic lunch alongside the beginning of the trail.

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I’m pretty lucky that I get to have lunch daily with these cuties. We packed carrots and cauliflower, grapes, yogurt with blackberries, and peanut butter balls. Once school starts I’m so going to miss this.

After all our outside time that morning you’d think the girls would be done but since it was such a nice day they wanted to run through the sprinkler. I got distracted being outside with them and came in to quick prep dinner. Dinner was going to be yellow squash pesto noodles which since there is no actual cooking required should have been a breeze to get on the table. I say should have because when I went to shred my yellow squash into noodles I found out it was much more like a winter squash than a summer squash. Meaning there were sizeable seeds inside and it needed to be peeled and cooked in order for us to eat it. Hmm… not quite the quick prep dinner I was hoping for. What to do, what to do? Well, I had some roasted cauliflower in the fridge so I changed dinner to roasted cauliflower, shredded carrot, and chicken pesto bowls.

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Homemade dairy-free pesto! This version was a little different since I used toasted walnuts and added some spinach. It’s been awhile since I made my own pesto and both girls noticed the difference immediately (read: didn’t love) from the store-bought variety they have become accustomed to (oops!). I loved the pesto and had some on my breakfast. Since there is no cheese the basil flavor comes through even more and I really like basil (and most other herbs!).

I am really relishing these last few lunches with both my girls. We had errands to do this morning but made it home in time for me to make salads to go along with the items I had hurriedly packed this morning just in case.

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These salads were so good loaded with veggies and next to them a hard-boiled egg, bean salad, and an apple.

Earlier this week I mentioned the girls requesting salads for this week’s menu. Lunch included both bean and greens salads so for snack I made fruit salad (Lexi’s request). The fruit salad has apples, nectarines, grapes, and blackberries. I drizzled a honey lemon dressing over the top and mix it all together. Fruit salad was topped a with a little yogurt and I baked up some homemade tortillas for little chips.

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Fruit salad is a big win. Homemade chips equally as good.

Last night’s dinner loss (i.e. yellow squash) was tonight’s dinner win. I cut and peeled the squash and roasted it. After a small break the veggie bowl made its way back into our lives. We grilled broccoli, okra, onions, and power greens to go with the squash. The bowls had barley at the bottom and were topped with a cherry tomato cilantro salsa. The salsa brought a fresh summer feel to the veggie bowls.

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Veggie bowls were a welcome change from all the raw salads we’ve been having. Cilantro salsa helped take these bowls from fall to summer. The squash did have me thinking ahead to fall and I can’t wait for veggie bowls to make a regular appearance on our menu.

Here We Go Again…

Yesterday was all about bettering our tummies from the food filled weekend. Soup just equals healing to me and breakfast is not too early for soup.

I used to be a sweet food breakfast eater (loved me a breakfast of cake and cup of coffee) but I have since changed my ways. Soup is a great way to start the day (or any dinner leftovers really). Brian used to joke that if you add an egg to anything it’s breakfast. My previous breakfast traditionalist self was appalled by such comments but now I’m like why bother adding the egg. Good food is good food any time of day.

Tummy healing soup for breakfast? You bet! Even the girls did not mind too much. The soup was hot and sour soup (no hot for the littles) which is mostly broth. Then I did add an egg in the form of omelettes stuffed with garlic broccoli, power greens, and a little shredded cheddar to win them over. Peaches helped my case.

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For lunch I couldn’t feed them more soup since that’s what I planned for dinner (mixed lentil soup with side salads). We went the smoothie route instead. Apple pie smoothies and raw veggies helped heal our tummies. I made the apple pie smoothie with raw apples chopped up and then blended into the smoothie. The smoothies were refreshing and needed no extra sweetener. I will save my smoothie versus juicing rant for another time (lucky you!).

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The girls got a bonus almond meal pancake that was leftover from last week. Lexi asked this is all we get for lunch but I believe she was full when she finished. Most importantly, everyone was feeling way better than the day before. Another successful weekend recovery day. I’d love to say we shouldn’t need another one anytime soon but we are going camping for Memorial day weekend. Our fate lies in the hands of how many s’mores and hot dogs we consume (uh oh!).