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Friday, January 16, 2015

Warm Apple Crisp (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Hello, lovelies. Happy 2015! I hope you're all feeling refreshed and excited for the new year... or maybe exhausted from the holidays and still recovering from the chaos that it can be. That is a total possibility, too. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves as the new year rolls around. In reality, it is just time passing. I believe in having goals, working towards make them a reality and ultimately accomplishing them, but I don't believe in pressure because that leads to stress and stress leads to unhappiness and illness. So, you accomplish your goals and then what? You finally feel a weight is lifted off your shoulders and then you create more goals to be stressed about. What good is living if you're tense and worried constantly? We miss the beauty of life when we're caught up in stress and deadlines. What about what's happening right now? It's all about the journey after all, not the destination. I just say, do what feels good in your heart, do more of what makes you feel elevated and surround yourself with people who inspire you to be better and who deserve your precious time.

So. Apple Crisp. The reason I love this dessert so much is because it is really simple to make, but it tastes like it took all day to make. Something truly magical happens in the oven when this thing bakes. On one particular occasion when I made this, my roommate devoured half of it right after I made it and I finished it off the next day. That is how irresistible it is... just saying! I always add vegan ice cream or So Delicious Coco Whip on top because I am a sucker for the hot and cold contrast when it comes to desserts. If it's cold where you live and not in the high 60s and low 70s like it is here in San Diego (sorry, not to brag, but... I'm bragging), this dessert will taste even better! I beg of you to make this and report back to me with your thoughts. :-)

Even though the holiday season has officially come to an end, enjoying delicious food never does! It is a year-round delight. For that, I am grateful. Saying that it's been too long since I've posted a recipe is probably just annoying at this point, so I will just proceed with sharing one of my favorite dessert recipes with you in hopes that it will make you as happy and warm as it makes me.

Top left: chopped apples & coconut sugar. Top right: crumble mixture after vegan butter has been "cut in."
Bottom left: crumble mixture on top of apples ready to be baked. Bottom right: final result!

Warm Apple Crisp
YIELD: 4-6 servings
Adapted recipe from The Gluten-Free Vegan

• 5 cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith apples (about 4 apples - you'll probably have leftovers)
• 2-3 Tbs coconut sugar
• 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats *I use Bob's Red Mill
• 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs coconut sugar
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter (use soy-free variety, if needed)
• 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
• Optional toppings: So Delicious CocoWhip (found at Whole Foods), homemade whipped coconut cream or vegan vanilla ice cream (found at Whole Foods or Sprouts & many other grocery stores now)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In an 8x8 baking dish, combine the apples and 2-3 Tbs coconut sugar. Stir to coat well.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, coconut sugar, flour, and cinnamon and mix well.
4. Cut in the vegan butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs (takes about 5 minutes). *I had no idea what "cut in the butter" meant, so if you're as clueless as I was, watch this for directions & see image above for my example. Then, stir in the nuts.
5. Sprinkle the crumbly mixture over the fruit, making sure to distribute evenly.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown (I bake mine for about 32 minutes).
7. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with vegan whipped cream or vegan vanilla ice cream, if desired (but 10,000% recommended!).

"Why do we find it so horrible to kill a baby? It's because they are voiceless and defenseless. The same applies to animals. Killing them is cowardice." Edward Sanchez


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