This one time (not at band camp), I went on an adventure to an apple farm. But that was the extent of my adventure because after a couple hours of driving from my hometown of Fresno(nia) along a winding and nauseous-inducing mountainside, we rolled up to a big ol’ CLOSED sign at the entrance of this farm. Doh! So that was fun. Maybe that’s why I’ve been craving the opportunity to go play on an apple farm. In early September, Matt and I were finishing up our 5 week adventure in Europe with the opportunity to volunteer on an organic farm (WWOOF’ing) in northern Italy. Wow, what an experience! And to top things off, I found lots of apples. The entire valley, spanning beyond the towns of Glorenza and Silandro, is filled with rows of tall apple trees. Supposedly, this area is one of (if not the most) densest regions for apple farming. Farmers are known to make good money here. Yet I was bummed to hear that very few of the farms use organic practices. Being surrounded by all this agriculture (not unlike Fresno…except for the green part, thick german accents and 1000 year old buildings) simply by buying more organic, we can increase the demand, encouraging markets to carry more, and farmers to take up organic and / or natural practices. I figure, the less pesticides and herbicides in the air, earth and water, the better. And if we can opt for local produce, too, that’s extra rad (less carbon footprint).
And that’s my new apple farm story. The end. Now let’s bake some really tasty food!
This recipe is called an Elevating Apple Festivities because:
- It’s like a party in your mouth without the lame hangover. Why? Because it’s made of real, whole ingredients. No refined sugars, gluten, dairy, or other potential tummy bloaters, crampers and blood sugar spikers.
- It elevates your body from the inside out. There’s several sources of plant-based protein, healthy fats and fiber. So even though there’s sugar in the maple syrup (minimal amount in this recipe, mind you) and apples, it’s paired well with these other ingredients to keep your energy elevating and happy without the moody crash.
- One evening I felt like creating my own version of an apple pie. What is my version? Gluten free, dairy free, plant-based, low in sugar, no refined products, organic (when possible), nutrient dense AND tasty.
Time to play:
- 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut chips (try Next organic coconut slivers)
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup raw pumpkin almonds
- 1/2 cup raw flaxmeal
- 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil (make sure it’s melted)
- 6 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- sprinkle of sea salt
- 2 medium-sized organic apples thinly sliced
Creation Station: Preheat oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sliced apples in a round cake pan. Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl (except apples). Pour mix over apples. Bake for 18-24 minutes. Boom!
Do I taste like a traditional apple pie? Not me, but the Elevating Apple Festivities. No, it does not. Why? Because it’s made of completely different ingredients (except for the apples). It’s not meant to taste like a sweet, sugary, wheat-filled creation. This Festivity is unique yet satisfies a similar nostalgic holiday experience.
How sweet am I? Not me, but the Elevating Apple Festivities. Well, this depends on your palate. Your version of sweet is dependent on what you typically eat. I find this concoction to be just the right amount of sweetness (from the apples and maple syrup) that it doesn’t make me feel funky (as I often do if I eat sweet stuff). Yet if you prefer more sweetness, add more maple syrup. Prefer less? Take some out. Simple as that!
Going organic: To absorb the most benefits (and least chemicals) go for organic products if possible. When a product is certified USDA organic, it is also non-GMO. Yay! Just a heads up, salts cannot be certified organic. But do opt for a non-iodized salt, like a sea salt or himalayan pink salt.
Jot it down: Are you creating your own goodies? Grab a notebook or journal to keep handy in the kitchen. You can even start with this recipe I shared with you and then let loose with your creativity. I’ve gotten in the habit of writing my recipes down, no matter how I think they’ll turn out. Because let’s be honest, you don’t really know until you fully test them. After I’ve tried a new creation, I write some notes on how they taste, what I should change afterwards, or even if they don’t “travel well”. And of course I still give myself my “throw it all together and don’t measure anything” days. So much fun! And way fewer dishes to clean.