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!

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No Oatmeal Porridge

Weekday breakfasts are tough! It doesn’t matter what time I get up, I always end up in a breakfast crunch. And there are too many things to do at night to make breakfast ahead of time consistently. I do try to do that a few times a week but I like to feed my family a variety and pre-made breakfasts rely on having the same thing multiple times a week. No fun!

I tried a new breakfast recipe yesterday morning (adventurous for a weekday morning)! And I loved it! The recipe was for a grain-free coconut porridge. My girls love their porridges. They like grits, cream of rice, oatmeal, buckwheat, steel-cut oats, etc, etc.

Ever notice how traditional breakfast foods are so grain heavy? Like that is the only option other than eggs for breakfast. I do make a lot of eggs for Brian’s breakfast and the girls partake in that as well. But they really like their oatmeal and such. In fact, I’d say most people will tell you they can’t give up their morning oatmeal. Enter the No-Oat Porridge. It is grain-free, and sugar-free and can be completely nut-free (if you use coconut milk or other alternative)!

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This porridge was simple enough for weekday morning prep. It is made of almond milk, coconut flour, unsweetened shredded coconut, and an egg (or a banana if you want to be egg free). I made the version with an egg to add some extra creaminess but maybe next time I’ll experiment with the banana. The texture is similar to any creamed cereal (wheat, rice, etc).  I topped the porridge with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and dash of maple syrup. Both girls had a hard time finishing their portion, it was so filling. So we saved some and they were thrilled to have it again the next morning. Even I had some as my breakfast forgoing my usual greens (oh, missed opportunity, I should have added some to it!).

Looks like oatmeal without the oats is possible and satisfying.

For the Love of Pancakes

Kids love pancakes. Adults love pancakes. I’ve found I can put most anything in pancakes and they are well received. What is it about pancakes? Maybe it’s all that flour?!? Pancakes are basically flour. Oh no! I need to expand my repertoire of flour free pancakes.

I’ve nailed almond flour pancakes. They are good and work well with both sweet and savory recipes. The downside about almond flour pancakes is the price. Even with making the almond flour myself the cost of cooking almond flour pancakes every time the girls want pancakes (which is more than once a week!) is ridiculous. I need some more cost-effective alternatives.

Here are some pancakes meals we’ve had recently:

I made steel-cut oatmeal pancakes adapted from this recipe. I did not blend the batter of the pancakes per the recipe resulting in a nice chewy texture of steel-cut oats.

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We used maple syrup to sweeten them and they tasted just like comforting oatmeal only in pancake form.  They were very dense and the girls only needed one decent size pancake to fill their tummies.

I used a different coconut flour pancake recipe (from the Wheat Belly Cookbook) and these ones worked out well (see my previous failed attempt here). They are really thin and eggy but taste great.

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Topped with syrup and pecans, they were a good stand in for regular flour pancakes. Also, this was a Saturday morning breakfast so we had a bonus luxury of sausage!

The coconut flour pancakes are so versatile that we used them as “bread” for lunch sandwiches.

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When I asked Lexi what she would like for lunch she said meat and cheese sandwiches and also informed that it had been a while since they had sandwiches. I met her halfway and gave them meat and cheese on coconut flour pancakes. They were even more excited about the novelty of it than they would be with a regular sandwich. Check out those frosting filled strawberries. Apparently, they were amazing. I had some leftover chocolate swiss meringue buttercream dying to be used in the fridge so I some strawberries with it. No crazy snacks at school today so I got to indulge my kids a little.

Always looking to expand my flour free pancakes arsenal as I had numerous regular pancake recipes to pull out (just saying, after years of trying I had mastered the regular pancake). A quick search on Pinterest should leave me with some good ideas. I’ll get right on that (maybe?).