It's December!! Which means there will be lots of sweets coming your way in the next few weeks. But don't worry, I'll be keeping them all healthy, light and waist-friendly. Plus, I'll be sure to sprinkle in some nice green salads and other yummy detox foods so we can all stay on track while still indulging just a little.
So let me introduce to you our first dessert and one of my most favorite desserts on the planet:
Pear and Quinoa Apple Crisp.
Apples + pears + cinnamon + maple syrup + oats + quinoa + ice cream? Talk about the best dessert/breakfast treat EVER.
This is totally one of those recipes that I come back to time and time again. Truth be told, I don't have many of those (this, this and this are some of the few), but this crisp is definitely right up there. I love that it's simple and doesn't take any crazy weird ingredients to be delicious.
Plus, you can really mix it up and just use what you have on hand. It's easy-going, care-free, and seriously delish.
And now, if you'll indulge me (and watch me be a little dorky about how much I LOVE this pear and apple crisp), I've made you a video of the recipe!
My version of a fruit crisp is just a teeeensy bit different than the classic. Rather than smothering the apples and pears in sugar and making the crumb topping from gobs of butter, sugar and flour, I've simplified it. I've lightened things up and make it much healthier
But then I went ahead and topped it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup, so maybe that negates all the substitutions I made. Either way it's tastaaay!
I mean come on though… is there anything better than vanilla ice cream placed on top of a warm apple dessert? The ice cream starts to melt and mix together with the sweet apples. And you get this balance of cold and warm with each bite.
Gah it's so good!
Okay, so now that I'm drooling and dreaming of this crisp, let's chat about how we've lightened it up, shall we?
I made a bunch of different tweaks to make the crisp super-duper-DUPER healthy (yes, you can definitely eat it for breakfast). The first was that I completely removed the refined sugar. I sprinkled the apples with coconut sugar – which is low-glycemic and AWESOME – and used Grade B Vermont Maple Syrup in the topping. Grade B syrup is the darkest of all the maple syrup varieties and is the least refined. Some people don't like the taste, but I find Grade B to be richer, bolder and so much more flavorful!
For the fat portion – we need to have just a little! – I chose to used an unrefined coconut oil. I'm sure you've heard all about how good coconut oil is for you, so I won't bore you with that, but I will say, it's certainly better for you than butter. And that goes for the vegan variety too.
Then there's the topping. The very best part. The dry base is a mixture of gluten-free oats, quinoa, quinoa flour and cinnamon. Seriously, that's it! You just mix it together with your syrup and coconut oil, sprinkle it on top and it bakes up beautifully. It's crunchy and it's not overly sweet. It reminds me of granola *another reason why it's a perfect breakfast*.
And that's it my friends. Simple, pure, whole-food ingredients. Without sacrificing any of that decadent flavor. In fact, I'd argue it's even better 🙂
So grab a spoon and dig in!
If you make this crisp, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment below or snap a pic and tag it #simplyquinoa on Instagram or Twitter – it makes me so happy to your creations!
Healthy Quinoa Apple Crisp
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a pie pan and set it aside.
- Remove the cores from the apples and pears and thinly slice. Add into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with coconut sugar and lemon. Toss to combine.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oats, quinoa, coconut oil and syrup. Mix to combine. Add quinoa and mix again until mixture starts to hold together when you press it between two fingers. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix until just combined.
- Transfer fruit to the prepared pie plate. Cover with topping and bake on the center rack for 35 - 45 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping has browned. If the topping is browning too quickly, simply cover with tin foil until the filling is done.
- Serve immediately (or top with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup) and enjoy!