Locally grown apples are at their best in fall, in my opinion. I've tried so many excellent varieties that grow right here in Ohio. I usually keep a basket of apples on my kitchen counter for a quick snack and cook them whenever the mood strikes me. When I was younger we went apple picking which was harder work than I'd imagined. Came home with a bushel of apples (and apple cider) which went into apple pies, lunchboxes and applesauce.
Occasionally, my Mom made baked apples which was such a treat. I liked them right out of oven when the skins started to crinkle and the texture started to soften into a warm puddle of flavors—cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar and a drizzle of honey. Some of the same spices I used in creating Pat’s Granola.
My sister and I went on a road trip a few years ago to visit our friend Lori in Delaware. Stopped by a roadside stand which was on the edge of an apple orchard. Couldn’t resist picking a few to take home. The cover photo shows me apple picking which made me immensely happy.
Here’s a few ideas on how to serve apples that are fun to prepare and, especially for all the kids (big and little) in your life.
These Drizzled Apple Snacks are easy, delicious, and only need a few ingredients!
• Slice 3 Granny Smith apples into 12 slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
• Microwave 1/4 cup dark chocolate in bowl for 20 second intervals until melted.
• In another bowl, microwave 1/4 cup peanut butter for 30 seconds.
• Transfer the chocolate and peanut butter to two separate resealable plastic bags.
• Snip the edges of the bags for piping.
• Place the apple slices on wax paper and drizzle with peanut butter or chocolate.
• Choose a topping: coconut flakes, granola, craisins, or chopped almonds!
Baked Apple Slices
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 5 medium apples tart & sweet, sliced peeled or unpeeled
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 2 ½ quart or similar sized baking dish with cooking spray or grease with vegan butter.
In a medium or large bowl, add melted vegan butter, water, ground cinnamon, coconut sugar, maple syrup, arrowroot, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the sliced apples to the bowl. Stir to coat. Transfer apples and remaining liquid into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until apples are tender. The thinner the apple slices, the faster they will cook. Halfway through baking, remove baking dish from oven, carefully stir to coat apples, and return to oven to finish baking.
When apple are tender, remove from oven and stir once more to coat. Serve as a side dish or as dessert with vanilla ice cream or coconut whipped cream.
Gluten Free Caramel Apple Crisp
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- ¾ cups raw pecans chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil
Place dates into a blender. Cover with hot water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain water and place dates back in blender. Add salt, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegan butter over low heat in a 10-inch oven-prooof skillet. Add apples and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, cinnamon, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Take off heat.
Pour about 1 cup of the date caramel over the apples. Stir to evenly incorporate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl combine oats, cinnamon, coconut sugar, pecans, and salt. Stir to evenly incorporate ingredients.
Add small pieces of solid vegan butter or coconut oil to oat mixture. Using your hands, incorporate the vegan butter so that it has moistened the oat mixture. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly on top of apples.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until apples are bubbling and the oat mixture on top has become golden. Watch to make sure your pecans do not burn! Serve warm with vanilla ice cream*.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat in microwave to serve again.
Local Product Shoutout:
I’ve recently been introduced to a local Cleveland ice cream called Ebony’s Ice Cream. Handcrafted in small batches and its absolutely creamy and delicious. She even delivers right to your doorstep in the greater Cleveland area--how awesome is that!
Check her out on Instagram @ebonysicecream or email email@example.com for ordering information.
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company.
Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at selected Northeast Ohio businesses.
Hear Pat's story on Food Founders Podcast