Sunday, October 24, 2010

Apple Pie for Breakfast

I was trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast this morning and had this delicious guilt-free apple pie sitting on the counter and thought, why not? As adults we can eat pretty much anything we want for breakfast (at least when our kids aren't looking). But this apple pie is truly nutritious and with a glass of milk pretty much covers nearly all of the food groups (minus the veggies and fats/oils/sweets). Yep, that's right - no sugar or added fats in this recipe. Of course I know that you are thinking it must be disgusting, but oh how wrong you are!

Last week when I was at my parents' house I picked up some of their not so pretty yellow delicious apples for making some apple pies. When I got home I started my quest for finding a "natural" or "healthy" apple pie recipe. I found a Raw Apple Pie recipe by Ani Phyo that was rather intriguing given the fact that there was no baking involved. But of course I had to make my own adaptations to it as I wanted a baked apple pie. The result I am happy to say is quite delicious and as always, very nutritious! Aviella helped me with it, sampling all the ingredients as we went. And when she was able to sample the finished product she cleaned her plate! She sat at the table by herself until the whole thing was gone. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. I must say that the finished product tastes best just after it is cool enough to eat - when the crust has a nice crunch to it. I was thinking that it might be good to prep the filling and crust and make smaller individual pies (in ramekins or custard dishes) while you are eating dinner. Then you can pull out individual crunchy pies for you and your family (or guests).

Although the apples in this version still have a bit of crunch to them, Ryan thought that if you used a slow cooker for the filling and syrup mixture you could get softer apples before baking. I think Ani Phyo mentioned letting the apples sit overnight in the fridge (covered) would soften them up some more too.

Healthy Apple Pie

1 1/4 cups almonds (toasted)
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups pitted dates
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp sea-salt

1/2 cup pitted dates
1 orange pitted and seeded
1/4 cup boiling water

5 to 6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup dried fruit (I used cherries, but raisins and cranberries were also suggested)
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, toast almonds (if not already pre-toasted) and let cool. When cool process the almonds in a food processor until coarse. Combine oats, sea-salt and almonds in a medium sized bowl. Combine boiling water and dates, stirring to soften. Place date and water mixture in food processor and process until fairly smooth. Mix by hand the oat mixture with the date mixture. Save 1/2 to 1 cup of mixture to sprinkle on top of the pie. Press the remaining crust mixture into a greased 9 inch pie plate.

Make the syrup by combining the boiling water with the pitted dates and stir to combine. Pour this mixture into a food processor with the pitted and seeded orange pieces. Process until smooth.

Combine the syrup with the filling ingredients in a large bowl then pour into prepared pie crust. Break up the remaining crust mixture and sprinkle on top of the filling. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow the pie to cool slightly before eating.

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