Bengal Spice Apple Crisp
Lately, while many of us are taking this covid-19 pandemic seriously by staying home and keeping our germs to ourselves, my younger brother has taken to sending me memes and cartoons about how fat we are all going to be when we emerge from our cocoons. Now, no one wants to get fat saving the world, but we do have to eat, and it’s a whole lot better to be intentional about the calories and nutrients we take in, than to just spend the next couple of months mindlessly grazing through the pantry.
I do a WHOLE lot of cooking, mostly for stress management; and because I have a lifelong tendency to balloon, I have been doing it with a 1200 calorie a day plan in mind. That means I use a nutrition program when writing my recipes (Living Cookbook), and am very careful about portion control. Being mostly indoors with limited opportunities for exercise requires us to be more creative about how we move. I wear a FitBit to track my steps (working at my floor loom actually registers as steps!) and sync it to My Fitness Pal diary in which I record my daily exercise and food intake. After three weeks in “stay at home” mode, I have lost 3 pounds. Not much in the great scheme of things, but at least when this is over, I won’t emerge in need of a new wardrobe.
OK, today’s recipe is for an apple crisp. Looking for ways to minimize empty calories, I’ve used oatmeal instead of flour, reduced the amount of sugar and butter, and to add a bit more depth to the spices without using fruit juice, have used a 1/2 cup of strong brewed Bengal Spice herbal tea. It’s not an essential ingredient, but it’s a personal favorite with me, and readily available in stores that stock Celestial Seasoning teas. I actually order it by the six-pack online. You can substitute any herbal tea that you think will go well with apples, but if you don’t have any herbal tea, just use a half a cup of water, and a bit extra spice. The apples will be nice and tender, and the raisins will plump a bit.
Bengal Spice Apple Crisp clocks in at 216 calories per serving. So enjoy. (And if it’s your birthday, feel free to add a scoop of ice cream!)
3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp dried orange rind
1/2 cup brewed and cooled Bengal Spice Herbal Tea (optional)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp butter
1. Peel, core and thinly slice 3 to 4 small Granny Smith Apples (about 3 cups). Place them in a shallow 9″ baking dish.
2. Sprinkle on the raisins and dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of the sugar. RESERVE 1 tbsp of sugar for the topping.
3. Pour the half cup herbal tea over the fruit.
4. Add the cardamom, nutmeg, orange peel 1/2 of the cinnamon,
5. Using your fingertips break the tbsp of butter into pea-sized pieces.
6. Work in the sugar, oatmeal and the remaining 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to make a topping.
7. Sprinkle on the topping, evenly covering the fruit.
8. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the topping is browned.
9. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 1 shallow 9″baking pan
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (4.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked: Bengal Spice Herbal Tea. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.
Recipe Type: and Desserts, Brunch, Cakes, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Pastries