It’s officially fall! And apples are eeeeeeverywhere. And I love it! We’ve already made one trip to the orchard and will be making another this week–can’t get enough of them!
These cupcakes we’re inspired by a craving for cupcakes and apple pie so I rolled both into one and voila! Apple cupcake/pie magic!
And these things are INCREDIBLE, if I do say so myself. 🙂 I almost stopped with just the cake part because it is SO GOOD and can pretty much stand on it’s own, but I’d been wanting to experiment a little with frosting and decided to forge ahead.
The gluten-free cupcake is without a doubt one of the most moist, delicious “healthy” cakes I’ve created yet! It’s got loads of little apple chunks and just the right amount of cinnamon. I was also pretty pleased with the frosting…smooth, creamy and not overly sweet as I feel most things sweetened with xylitol, stevia, etc tend to be. It does get somewhat stiff when refrigerated so I recommend letting them sit out for a couple of minutes before eating to allow the frosting to soften a bit! And the crumb topping offset the frosting just enough with it’s salty, oaty, apple-crisp like texture and taste.
So basically total apple cupcake/pie bliss!!!
Overall, I ‘d say my first vegan cupcake was a success and I can’t wait to experiment with more sugar-free frosting recipes! Finding subs for powered sugar is TOUGH but I think doable!
One of the best combos around is apple and caramel and you can’t help but notice those ginormous dipped apples when you go in a store like Wal-mart at this time of year. You know the ones, covered in every sugary things known to man–M&M’s, Oreos, sprinkles, candy corn, gummy bears, three different kinds of chocolate, etc, etc–yeah, those.
The candy is bad enough but the caramel isn’t much better. Let’s take a peak at the ingredients…high fructose corn syrup, milk, sugar, butter, artificial flavors, palm oil and of course tons of preservatives. So essentially it’s crap. But thankfully there are some great alternatives to get your caramel+apple fix and this recipe in my opinion is better than any huge, sugar covered apple you could buy.
The salted caramel sauce has the perfect amount of salt to offset the sweet of the caramel and chocolate and I love the little bites of chocolate chips and pecans sprinkled over all of it. The best part of course is that it’s totally dairy and refined sugar FREE.
Last week I was contemplating whether I wanted to make and blog this recipe since I had started to see lots of fall/apple/pumpkin things popping up in my news feeds. Already. I mean, hello, isn’t it still August?? You know…SUMMER. Why yes IT IS so I decided no, I’m not giving in just yet and I’m squeezing in one last summer recipe. I’m DOING IT.
Of course the moment I decide this my husband walks in the door with a pumpkin coffee. Yes, pumpkin coffee. At first I was thinking “are you kidding me?!” but then I remembered how much I freaking love the gas station pumpkin coffee so I drank it. There. Confession. Back to the pudding…
I got the idea for this pudding from an Instagram post I had seen a couple of months ago. She didn’t have an exact recipe and used a few different ingredients than I did. But I loved the idea of key lime pie pudding because key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts ever. I actually have a GREAT Key Lime Pie recipe and after glancing at the ingredients to refresh myself, I knew I wanted to get it as close to tasting like my pie as possible.
This meant I needed to somehow add dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. But I don’t know of any that is sold anywhere and even if it did exist I’m sure it’s loaded with sugar. So I went ahead and made my own healthier version. It adds an additional step/recipe to the overall recipe so if you really don’t care about having sweetened condensed milk in your pudding, then I would go ahead and forego it and just use a sweetener such as xylitol, stevia, swerve, etc. (although I STRONGLY recommend making the sweetened condensed milk because it is DELICIOUS). I can’t guarantee the taste of the pudding will be as good without it, but I’m sure it will still be yummy.
I REALLY love that this pudding has veggies in it and you’d never know. My kids loved it. We enjoyed it with a little dollop of So Delicious Coco Whip and some Cadia Graham Crackers crumbled on top. Tart, sweet and creamy cold….perfect SUMMER treat. 😀
5.25 oz./1/4 c. Native Forrest Coconut Milk Powder
½ c. Water
2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ c. Truvia
¼ c. Sucanant
½ t. Sea Salt (more or less to taste)
Key Lime Pie Pudding
¾ c. Lite Coconut Milk
2 Large, Ripe Avocados
2 c. Spinach
Zest of One Lime
¾ c. Key Lime Juice (less if you don't want it as tart)
¾-1 c. Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk (depends on how sweet you want it OR substitute Truvia, Stevia, Xylitol, Swerve, etc to taste)
So Delicious Coco Whip, Cadia Graham Crackers (optional)
For the Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix) until smooth, creamy and thickened slightly. This will take several minutes. Set aside when done (if using right away....if refrigerating, the mixture will solidify and you can reheat or just scoop from the container).
For the Key Lime Pie Pudding
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until chilled and slightly firm or overnight.
Top with coconut whipped cream and crumbled graham crackers.
Apple picking this year was so fun now that the kids are a little older (2 and 4) and I loved all the healthy recipes I got to make. I mentioned before that I updated my mom’s AMAZING German Apple Cake to be super healthy, came up with these Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars and got to have a little more fun with these Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather Roll-Ups!
I had the idea to try to adapt my recipe for Dark Cherry Fruit Leather Roll-Ups into something apple-ish and it worked out fabulously! They were easy and delicious! Not to mention so much cheaper than buying them in the store!
I’m honestly not sure who loved them more in our house…the adults or the kids! I think you’ll love them too. 🙂
10 c. (about 9-10 medium) Chopped Apples (I used Fujis...no need to peel if you have a high speed blender)
¾ c. Water
⅓ c. Sucanat
¾ t. Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan, combine chopped apples and water and cook over medium-high heat until apples are tender and soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Once soft, drain liquid and transfer apples to a high speed blender along with the sucanat and cinnamon.
Blend until apples are completely smooth.
Divide mixture evenly between the two baking sheets. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large wooden spoon to spread the mixture as evenly and thin as possible without the white of the parchment paper coming through. Spots that are not thin enough, may not cook/dry completely (which isn't a big deal..it will still be edible and delicious!).
Bake in the oven, rotating pans every hour for 5-6 hours or until just slightly tacky. Remove from oven and let air dry on the baking sheets for at least 8 hours.
With the parchment paper, lift and move the fruit leather sheets onto a cutting board. Using a pizza slicer (or sharp knife), cut the sheets into 6 strips each (for a total of 12 strips). Starting at the edge of one sheet gently peel the leather away from the parchment and roll up. Wrap a piece of parchment around each roll-up and secure with string or tape. Store in and air-tight container.
In the last week we’ve made not one but TWO trips to the apple orchard because they are just SO good right now and there are new varieties every day! Our first trip we picked tons of Jonathan and Grimes and the second time it was all about the Fujis!
So, needless to say we’ve been eating a LOT of apples. And of course I’ve done a little baking…I gave my mom’s German Apple Cake a healthy makeover and it turned out DELISH. But I think our favorite thing so far has been dehydrating apples and making dried apple slices! The kids can’t get enough. And the Jonathan’s are perfect for dehydrating because they’re actually super sweet with a little tartness. Yum!
So with all the dehydrating, I was super excited to stumble upon this recipe for Cinnamon Apple Pie Energy Bites that utilizes dried apples but I knew immediately I wanted to take the recipe a step further and make them into Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars! And with a little adjusting of ingredients, that’s what I did and the results were DELICIOUS.
All the flavors of apple pie, a touch of salt, tiny chunks of almonds and dried apples, minimal ingredients and no added sugar, make these perfect for snacking or even breakfast! We love them!
1 ½ c. Dried Apples, finely chopped in food processor
1 ½ c. Raw, Toasted Almonds (you don't have to toast the almonds but I prefer the flavor it gives them)
1 ½ c. Medjool Dates, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
5 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1½ t. Cinnamon
1½ t. Apple Pie Spice
½-¾ t. Sea Salt
Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment paper
Blend almonds and dates in a high powered blender or food processor until a thick paste forms. You can get it as smooth as you like..I left a few bits and pieces of almonds in mine because I like the texture.
Transfer the almond/date mixture, along with all other ingredients to an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until everything is well combined and blended. Adjust spices, etc to taste.
Press into your lined pan and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow mixture to set. Remove from pan and cut.
I am into FAST recipes these days. But of course they still have to be delicious. And obviously were in the full swing of fall so they either need pumpkin or apples involved somehow. Which gives us this super moist, super yummy Praline-Apple Bread. I love quick breads, especially ones that are topped with a gooey praline topping. The chunks of apples, bursts of cinnamon chips and crunchy, toasted pecans make this bread perfect for a brunch, snack or after dinner dessert! I took it to a mommy/baby play date and it was almost gone by the time we left! I call that a successful recipe!
2 c. Finely Chopped, Peeled Jonagold Apples (or golden delicious, granny smith, etc. It ended up being about 3 large apples.)
1½ c. Cinnamon Chips
1 c. Chopped Pecans, toasted
½ c. Unsalted Butter
½ c. Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed
½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for 2 minutes or until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Fold in apples, ½ cup of pecans and 1 cup of cinnamon chips. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans and cinnamon chips, lightly pressing them into the top of the batter.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning (I missed the tip about the foil and my edges were well done so I strongly recommend doing it.) Cool in pan on wire rack, placed over a baking sheet, for 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon over top of bread. Let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
I am officially obsessed, OBSESSED, with this recipe for pear (or apple!) butter. It was insanely easy and produced the most delicious pear butter I have ever had. Fortunately, my grandparents have a pear tree in their backyard and were generous enough to share their bounty with me! The only downside is that now that I know how awesome this stuff is, I can’t get my hand on any more free pears! They seem to have gotten to their peak and are no more. I am so, so sad about this. I’m still thinking about just hitting up a local apple orchard because I’d REALLY love to make apple butter from this recipe. We shall see.
Thus far, I’ve been spreading this yumminess on my bagels in the morning. Or eating with a spoon from the jar. I’m not proud of that but I can’t help myself. You could put it on waffles, pancakes, crepes…so many possibilities. The spices in it are perfection and the texture is so buttery smooth. I love that I was able to throw everything in the crockpot overnight and it was practically done! It does take a little time to peel and core all the pears (about 45 minutes) but it is so worth it. I also used Sucanat which is a great alternative to processed, refined sugar…much better for your body. Also used pink himalayan sea salt instead of overly processed table salt that’s been stripped of all nutrients. I wondered how it would work with the alternative sugar and honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference in texture and taste-wise, I thought it was better!
Take advantage of the pears and apples at the height of the season and make this stuff! So, so good!
Apples are SO good right now. Am I right or am I right? I can’t get enough. And this past weekend I wanted to make a special dessert for a family get-together and of course, wanted to include apples. But I didn’t necessarily want to bake something. Enter the Apple Snickers Trifle. You might have seen a version of this recipe on Pinterest called an Apple & Snickers Salad, made with a pudding/Cool Whip mixture. But first, the name had to go. Salad? It just felt wrong. I mean salads have vegetables and croutons and definitely don’t involve Snickers in any way. Apples maybe but Snickers…no.
Second, I put it in a trifle dish and layered the ingredients instead of just throwing it in a bowl. I think it definitely looks prettier, don’t you? Much better for presentation!
I will warn you: this stuff is good. It seemed a little odd to me at first to mix apples with Snickers but it totally makes sense: it’s like a caramel apple with some chocolate thrown in. Yum! It is VERY rich and decadent and a nice change of pace from apple cake or apple cookies (not that those are bad…they rock as well).
6 c. Chopped, Granny Smith Apples (about 6-7 apples, plus a few for garnish)
10 Regular-Size Snickers, chopped (I froze mine unwrapped in a large plastic Ziploc bag and took the flat side of a meat mallot to them...worked like a charm)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and then the vanilla. Fold in the Cool Whip.
Stir in the chopped apples, reserving a few for garnish. Stir in 1½ c. of the crushed Snickers. Spoon ⅓ of the mixture into a trifle dish. Sprinkle half of the remaining Snickers onto the mixture. You can also drizzle with caramel sauce, which is what I did, but I thought it was a little too sweet and not necessary and wouldn't do it again. Spoon another ⅓ of the mixture into the trifle dish and the remaining half of the Snickers (save a ½ c. or so for garnish). Spoon the remaining mixture into the trifle dish and garnish with chopped apples, Snickers and caramel sauce. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve (it will probably get a bit runny the next day so I highly recommend making and serving it the same day).
Have you ever wanted a nice warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning but just didn’t have the time to actually make AND eat it?? Yeah, been there. Our mornings are fairly rushed around here and we hardly ever have a sit down breakfast, except for the occasional big splurge breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning. And those are few and far between. What a shame.
So, if you’re like us and just want something to grab on your way to work, these baked oatmeal bars are what you need! It’s all of the ingredients in a hearty, filling bowl of oatmeal put them into one neat little bar. Besides heart-healthy oats, they’re sweetened with honey and have wheat germ and wheat bran for added fiber and protein. They’d even be great for an afternoon snack when vending machines are practically screaming your name. Delicious, nutritious, yummy and most importantly, travel-ready!
¾ c. Chopped, Dried Apples (or raisins, cherries, etc)
⅓ c. Chopped, Toasted Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together the oats, wheat germ, wheat bran, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl stir together the eggs, honey, vanilla, applesauce, oil and milk. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chopped apples and pecans.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Makes about 18 bars.
Tip: Feel free to substitute any kind of add-in for the dried apples and pecans...whatever nut, fruit, chocolate chip, etc you may like.
Believe it or not, there are some people on diets this time of year. Yes, DIETS, preparing/starving themselves for the two month long eat-o-rama that begins around mid-November and doesn’t stop until somewhere around the new year. I myself believe in moderation and balance and try to get plenty of exercise and eat an overall healthy diet (I definitely do NOT believe in starvation and “diet” trends). And I am most certainly planning on indulging during the holidays but in moderation.
So, for those more health-conscious readers out there like myself, I thought I would provide you with some healthy dessert options for you to bring to those family get-togethers. Some are most definitely more healthy than others; there are low-fat, low-calorie, high-protein, low-sugar, etc. Options! That’s what I’m all about. 🙂 I’ll definitely be testing a couple (the Date Bars and Honey-Almond Cake are calling my name!) to see if they are worthy of the upcoming family festivities. I’ll post my results!
I’ve been blessed lately with an overabundance of apples, as I’m sure many of you have. One of my favorite things to do with lots of apples, specifically Golden Delicious apples, is make my mom’s German Apple Cake.
She has been making this cake every since I can remember. As a kid, when the air got cool and the leaves started changing color, we knew that apple cake and apple crisp were in the very near future. Of course mine and my sister’s favorite part was each getting a beater to lick after my mom had whipped up the cream cheese frosting. I’m sure I tried more than once to either steal or somehow trick my sister into giving me her beater…I was obnoxious like that.
I love making this cake as an adult because not only of the memories, but I can appreciate the simple goodness of it even more now. The flavor of cinnamon and chunks of soft apples along with the smooth cream cheese frosting are downright yummy. And I love that it forms kind a kind of sugary “crust” along the edges. So, so, SO good. If you have apples coming out your ears, try this cake. You’ll love it.
4 c. Peeled, Sliced/Chunked Apples (About 4-5 apples. I prefer golden delicious.)
½-3/4 c. Black Walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting
½ c. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, cold
5 c. Powdered Sugar, sifted
½ t. Salt
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (which is what I did) or grease and flour.
Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the apples and walnuts, mix in thoroughly and let set for 5 minutes or so, allowing the juices to soak into the batter. Spread into your baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes (mine took 40) until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely and then frost with cream cheese frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the butter and cream cheese on high until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix thoroughly on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and thoroughly incorporate.
A few weeks ago on a nice, bright Saturday morning I took a little road trip with my friend Sharla to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets. We had a great time and scored some awesome bargains. However, my favorite find of the whole trip was this doughnut pan from Norpro. I have been wanting one for some time and was really excited to finally find one that was a great brand at a decent price.
The store where I bought the pan also had this apple cider doughnut mix conveniently placed next to it. I’ve been seriously longing for an apple cider doughnut from Edwards Apple Orchard from when we lived up in Rockford. This place is amazing…the coolest general store with all kinds of yummy stuff, finger lickin’ bbq, some of the best apple pie I’ve EVER had (and yes, we DID try a slice with cheddar cheese and it was good!!) and their beyond drool-worthy apple cider doughnuts! Jeremy and I have seriously discussed taking a weekend trip to Rockford just for the doughnuts at the orchard (of course I’d probably have to sneak in some Chicago shopping hehe). They also have a petting zoo, live music and apple picking galore! Oh how I miss it! Apparently, they don’t have a website but here are some pics I found.
Ok so back to my doughnut mix! I made them this past weekend with the new pan and I have to say that I loved both! The pan worked wonderfully however, the side of the doughnuts that were in the pan got a bit darker and a tad more done than the other side. Not an issue really, just looks kind of funny. And the mix was great! Not quite the caliber of the orchard doughnuts but really, really good. We liked them hot out of the pan, brushed with butter and dipped in cinnamon and sugar but they were even better after they had cooled off and set for a while. You could really taste the apple cider and the texture was very moist and cake-like. Loved them! Of course I’ll be trying from scratch doughnuts next but if I ever need any in a pinch, I’ll definitely go with this brand!
It’s Monday! Who’s excited?! Yeah, me neither. Thought I’d cheer you up with some delicious APPLE recipes from all over the blogosphere. It’s that time of year….apple cake, apple cider, apple donuts, apple pie….the possibilities are endless! And so, so delicious.