a taste of fall, featuring a healthy apple crisp

Since graduating from college, the month of September has taken on a whole new meaning. Although the days are getting shorter and August is slowly fading away into my memory, this no longer means trips to Staples, a back-to-school wardrobe, or first-day-of-school jitters. For the first time in a really long time, it just feels like autumn. And maybe, just maybe, I can actually enjoy the changing of the seasons by spending more time outside rather than cooped up in library cubicles dimly lit with the ever-so-flattering fluorescent glow.

I also plan on taking advantage of all the seasonal produce available in the coming months, such as squash, cranberries, and my personal favorite: sweet potatoes.

“It’s not a coincidence that we have some of our best and our biggest food holiday in the fall,” explains Global Produce Coordinator of Whole Foods, Chris Romano, in an article on Rodale Wellness. “The warm days and cold nights of autumn make for ideal growing conditions… And, one of the best things about autumn produce is that Mother Nature really offers us the types of fruits and vegetables we crave during the cooler months like hearty root vegetables, gratifying pears and filling squashes.”

First fall order of business: apple crisp. I decided to put a healthy spin on an original favorite by making the dessert gluten-free and sweetening it only with honey.

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 13 apples (10 for the filling, 3 for the topping)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • zest from 1/2 lemon

Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup densely packed almond meal 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Dollop of greek yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel, core, and slice 10 of the apples into bite-sized pieces. Toss them together with the cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, lemon juice, and zest.
  2. After evenly distributing the apple mixture in your baking dish, combine the ingredients for the topping into a medium-sized bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Evenly distribute the mixture over the apple filling.
  4. Take the remaining 3 apples (not peeled, cored, or sliced) and use a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice them into thin rounds. Place the rounds along the edges of the baking sheet to form a border.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top becomes golden brown.
  6. Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt on top.

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