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By Sara Sterly, October 9th, 2014

We try to eat and live as seasonally as possible. My favorite thing about eating seasonally is the self-imposed limits that it places on us. Don’t get me wrong – I love the environmental benefits, I love providing more for ourselves, keeping our food dollars mostly local, and all of the other benefits that eating seasonally offers, but my favorite consequence of eating seasonally is how much better things taste when you restrict yourself from eating them willy-nilly all year long.

We don’t eat apples all year long, but we gorge on them all Fall in Indiana. I put up plenty of apple sauce and apple butter to satisfy our apple cravings in the middle of April, but we try to eat apples only when they’re available here locally or regionally. Our kids aren’t always very happy about this (they love apples!), but they have learned to adapt and even enjoy it. Letting the seasons dictate how we eat creates traditions and patterns without me even having to think about it. Fall in Indiana means apple picking at Stuckey Farm and tracking down the best pumpkins at Spencer Farm. It means soups and winter squash and greens and apples twenty different ways.

One of our new recipes this year is this apple breakfast crisp. My husband’s favorite dessert is apple crisp, so I cut out the sugar and changed the flour to whole wheat to create a healthier apple crisp that we have all been loving for a breakfast treat with some plain yogurt, an afternoon snack by itself, or, for a special treat, with some vanilla ice cream for dessert.

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Apple breakfast crisp Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of local apples (you can mix various types of your choice), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Indiana maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter*
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour**
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Chop up the apples. I leave the skins on the apples because I’m lazy and because my mom told me that was the healthiest part of the apple (turns out she was right). Dump the apple chunks in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated.
  3. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, melt the butter and honey. Stir in the oats, flour, and nuts until the oats are covered with the butter-honey mixture.
  4. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the apples. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 20 minutes or until the oats brown at the edges.
  5. Eat immediately or let cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to a week.

*If you have dairy issues, this is equally delicious with ½ cup of coconut oil in place of the butter.

**To quickly make this grain-free, use almond or coconut flour in place of the whole wheat flour.

Check out Sara’s blog, www.sarabytheseason.com, where she shares her seasonal adventures.

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