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A Healthier Gluten Free Apple Dessert

Posted Mar 28 2012 12:00am

This past weekend I was taking advantage of the sunshine and sitting in the sun on the deck reading a copy of the Clean Eating magazine that I picked up at the grocery store.  The magazine cover caught my attention as it features 15 Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes.

The GF recipes in the special section are good, but I also found that many of the recipes in the magazine are naturally gluten free or could be adapted for a GF diet.  As the idea behind the magazine is to feature "Clean Foods" such as those having two or less ingredients and to discourage processed or refined foods, I find the magazine a great compliment to those on the GF diet. 

In addition to some great recipes, I found some really helpful tips.  I always knew that you should not saute things on high heat with olive oil but did not realize that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a lower smoke point than regular Olive Oil.   Extra Virgin Olive Oil should not be used with high heat as it has a low smoke point of 406 degrees F and at that point the fat begins to break down into potentially carcinogenic compounds.  You should use it for low heat cooking and in salad dressings.  On the other hand,  regular olive oil has a higher smoke point of 460 degrees F.

I have been looking for some healthier snack options and decided to convert their recipe for Apple and Almond Oatmeal Bars (p84 March 2012 Clean Eating Magazine ) into a gluten free version. 

My kids had fun thinking of new names as this one does not really describe it.  The crust is more like a hearty crumble crust and the overall flavor seemed more of a healthy cobbler-like dessert.  I actually think this crust would be wonderful topped with Blackberries in summer.  When I told my son that Bottom Crust Apple Dessert was not an appealing name, he offered up:

Apple on Top Dessert 

  Apple on Top Dessert


Olive Oil Cooking Spray

4 cups peeled, cored and diced apples (I used Gala, but McIntosh, Fuji and Red Delicious were recommended)

4 TBSP  raw honey divided

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup quick cooking certified gluten free oats (I love Bob's Red Mill, Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Gluten Free )

1 cup Gluten Free flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 cup almond butter  (I am crazy about the certified GF Justin's Nut Butter Natural Maple Almond Butter)

1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I did not have any applesauce so I substituted 3 TBSP water and it worked just great.)

Directions: Apple on Top Dessert Steps

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat a 9×13 pan with spray. 



In a large bowl combine apples, 1TBSP honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside. 



In a separate bowl whisk together oats,  flour, baking powder and salt. 

In a small bowl lightly beat the egg and then mix together with the almond butter, 1 TBSP oil, 2 TBSP honey, and applesauce.  (NOTE - if you do not have applesauce, 3 TBSP of water will work just as well as its main function is to moisten the bars). 

Add egg mixture  to flour mixture until a thick dough-like batter forms.

Transfer batter to pan and press down evenly to make a crust at the bottom of the pan.  This was made easier by placing a piece of parchment paper on top and then pressing it down. 


Apple on Bottom Dessert Steps

Pour apples over the crust and spread evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes until apples are soft but not brown. Let cool for a few minutes but it definitely taste better warmed up.  Top with some vanilla yogurt, ice cream or dairy free Almond Dream .


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