Lightened Up Apple Crisp

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC. All opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago, during one of my massive Sunday food prep sessions, I had the urge to make apple crisp. Apple crisp is totally one of those perfect fall desserts that you just HAVE to make at least once a year, right? I definitely think so, but despite being made with fruit, it’s really not so great for you. Every time I’ve tried to healthify apple crisp in the past, I still ended up using butter, white flour, or granulated sugar to some extent. Either that, or I ended up with a massive kitchen fail. My desire to create the perfect lightened up apple crisp recipe came at a great time, because I was recently asked to develop a recipe using Canadian maple syrup through my relationship with FitFluential.

Lightened Up Apple Crisp: Canadian Maple Syrup

This was perfect because one of my favorite ways to sweeten a recipe without using any added sugar is with real maple syrup. It’s pure, all natural, and something we pretty much always have in stock in our kitchen — and for more than just topping pancakes or waffles with. In the past couple of weeks, aside from this apple crisp recipe, Tim and I used Canadian maple syrup in recipes like quinoa stuffed acorn squash, crockpot pumpkin oatmeal, and mashed sweet potatoes (made with only the syrup and plain Greek yogurt!). And on our meal plan later this week? Maple dijon chicken drumsticks. It’s a very versatile ingredient, and it really adds a lot of depth/complexity to our cooking.

Lightened Up Apple Crisp: Canadian Maple Syrup

Keep in mind that a recipe is not necessarily sugar free just because it doesn’t call for any added white or brown sugar. For example, maple syrup is still a source of sugar because it’s made directly from the sap of sugar maple trees (the sap is boiled down 40 times to make the syrup). It’s just a better choice in my opinion because it’s unprocessed and offers health benefits of vitamin and mineral content without losing its sweet taste. Think zinc and magnesium (necessary minerals for post workout recovery!), potassium, and 54 different antioxidant compounds (the darker the grade, the higher the antioxidant levels).

Anyways, back to the apple crisp. After poking around a little bit online, I think I was able to combine a bunch of different ideas to create a winning recipe for you guys.

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

Makes a 9×13 inch pan’s worth (serves a crowd!)

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup Canadian maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsalted pecan halves/pieces
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • Coconut oil or coconut oil cooking spray

Lightened Up Apple Crisp: Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray, or grease with regular coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the other ingredients together.
  4. Once combined, spread evenly into the baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown and begins to crisp up.
  6. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top, and enjoy!

Lightened up apple crisp

This apple crisp, despite not having the typical bad-for-you ingredients, still had an ooey gooey middle and tasted like the traditional version. The only thing I would say is that its not AS crispy as its non-healthified cousin. After Tim and I finished all our food prep that Sunday, we each enjoyed some of the apple crisp with a scoop of So Delicious almond milk frozen dessert. It definitely satisfied my sweet tooth craving, without the guilt!

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

You can make this recipe for a smaller group by cutting the ingredients in half and using an 8×8 baking dish instead. Just cook for 30 minutes instead of going over. As long as the pans are the same depth, you should be okay. I’ve made both versions now, and each came out great.

–Let’s chat–
How do you make apple crisp? What’s your favorite go to fall dessert? How do you like to sweeten recipes without using any added sugar? What’s something you think you would like to make using Canadian maple syrup?

Next on my maple “to try” list is maple water! As someone who simply cannot jump on the coconut water bandwagon, I have high hopes for this one.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

Ok, ready for something life changing?

Baking with chickpeas instead of flour. That’s what’s life changing.

Maybe this concept isn’t breaking news to anyone else, but I still can’t get over the recipe that I made for the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil cooking spray
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup all natural almond butter (I use unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, plus 2 tbsp for topping
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 8×8 pan with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper to avoid spray).
  3. Add all the ingredients except chocolate chips to a food processor, then process until batter is smooth.
  4. Fold in the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, then sprinkle 2 tbsp of chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.
  7. Cool pan on wire rack for 20 minutes.
  8. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt, then cut into squares.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars2

I got this idea from my friend Dawn’s healthy eating party a couple of weeks ago. When I tasted them originally, I couldn’t believe that they had no flour, no butter, and no oil. And only the sugar content from the maple syrup and dark chocolate chips. Since I was pressed for time yesterday before heading to Cate and Joe’s for the game, I thought this would be the perfect recipe to make. All you have to do is throw everything into the food processor and mix the chocolate chips in afterwards. So easy, and they came out great. For those of you with almond allergies but OK with peanut butter, I think it would be fine to substitute.

I asked Tim if he had any comments to add about the bars, and he said, “UMM ridiculous.” We both just don’t understand how chickpeas can taste this delicious in a recipe! I felt like I was eating cookie dough. Yum.

-Let’s chat-
Have you ever baked with chickpeas before or am I the only one new to this world? What about garbanzo bean flour? This makes me curious to experiment with that too!
I would love recipe or baking suggestions! Did you bring anything fun to your Super Bowl get-together?

Tuesday class folks, I still have to plan a format for tonight. Any suggestions or requests?

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

You GUYS.  I am having a serious problem.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t stop eating these cookies!!!

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe inspired by and adapted from Meaningful Eats, makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup agave
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together butter, coconut oil, and agave.
  4. Add the vanilla and eggs, and mix until incorporated.
  5. Mix in the baking soda and salt.
  6. Add the almond flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Form the dough into tablespoon rounds and place on the lined baking sheet a couple of inches apart.
  9. Bake for 13 minutes, or until golden brown around edges.

I ran out of dark chocolate chips and needed to improvise with half dark chocolate and half white chocolate.  Next time I bake these, I think I’ll try replacing the butter to see how the taste comparison goes.  What would you guys recommend?  Unsweetened applesauce? Avocado?  Other ideas?

What’s a fun food (healthy or not) that you can’t get enough of lately?

Must…refrain…from…eating…for…breakfast.

Help!