Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grain-Free Summer Fruit Crisp

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." ~Erma Bombeck

Ah, the 4th of July.  A day for celebrating our country with BBQ's, alcohol, and explosives.  A day off of work to spend with your friends and family surrounded by piles of food.  A day spent hopefully near a body of water - a lake, a swimming pool, a slip-n-slide - to help you manage the summer heat.  

When you have food allergies, and you are going to a BBQ, instant panic sets in.  What will I be able to eat?  What if I eat something that makes me sick?  Should I just pack all my own food?  Will I offend the host if I don't eat any of their food?

As I get further along my journey, I have become more pro-active about making sure I will be able to eat when I go somewhere.  I am learning to speak up at a restaurant to ensure I don't accidentally eat something I shouldn't.  I am carrying snacks in my purse in case we are out later than anticipated and I need a quick bite to eat.  I am bringing my own food to BBQs so I can guarantee that there is something I will be able to eat.  

A couple days before the 4th, I asked my in-laws what was on the menu:  cheese burgers, chili dogs, spinach dip, broccoli salad, potato salad, cake, peach cobbler.  All the family 4th favorites.  Nothing I can eat.  

I had to get creative.  Nothing is worse than feeling like the odd man out.  I'm watching you eat your cake while I eat an apple.  Sure, it's a million times better for me, and it's not going to make me sick, but I really miss having cake with everyone else.  

I searched and searched.  I came up with a menu for the day that will be 100% things that I can eat, but will also be foods like everyone else is eating, and yummy enough to share.  

Grain-Free Fruit crisp

It was going to be a yummy 4th of July for me.  There would be no surviving on a lara bar for me today!  And best of all, there would be no stomach aches and no food hangovers!  

I have a dear friend that has started eating a "Paleo" based diet.  She eats nothing processed, no grains, no dairy, no soy, no legumes, no sugar.  Nothing but lean meats, fish, nuts, fruits, and veggies.  Eating just like someone in the "Paleo" era, or a Caveman, would eat.  She has lost tons of weight, has become super active, and feels amazing.  She is so inspirational to me!

Lately, I get much of my cooking inspiration from paleo style recipes.  With the exception of eggs and a few other minor things, I can eat many paleo recipes, unaltered.  Even though I don't eat this way exclusively, I try to focus most of my meals around this food lifestyle.  I feel so much better during the day if I skip the carbs and fill up on proteins that will fuel my body hours after the carbs have burned off.  

Paleo desserts?   

Who knew there was such a thing?!?!?!  

I love peach cobbler so much, but can't eat that soft, buttery, sweet, cake-like biscuit on top.  Crisps and crumbles are also my favorite, but they are full of oats, flours, and butters.  More stuff I can't eat.  

Enter the grain free crisp.  

I found this amazing sounding grain-free apple crisp at Stacy's Paleo Kitchen.  I read the recipe, and my mouth was already watering.  

A quick call to mom.

"Can you make apple crisp with other fruits, like peaches and berries?  Can they be fresh? Frozen?"


And a bit of advise. 

"Make sure to add some extra thickener to the fruit if you don't use other fruits besides apples or else it may get too runny." 

I went in the kitchen, grabbed out all my favorite fruits, fresh and frozen, and went to work.  I'm a really bad baker because I don't usually measure anything.  I just dump, sprinkle, and pour 'till it looks and tastes right.  Which is probably why I'm so bad at baking where measurements really matter.  This recipe is really forgiving because it will work even if you just use a big spoonful instead of exactly 2tbl of coconut oil! 

Grain Free Fruit Crisp 

4-6 cups mixed fruit, washed, peeled, seeded, cored, etc(apples, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, etc)
1-2 tbl cornstarch  or arrowroot powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbl raw honey
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 - 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbl coconut oil
1/3  cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350*.

Place fruit in a medium sized glass baking dish.  An 8x8 square, large pie pan, or a casserole dish. I never measure the fruit, just keep adding until the dish is full.

Sprinkle fruit with arrowroot powder, cinnamon, and honey and stir gently to combine.

In a medium bowl, mix together, almond flour, coconut, pecans, cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt.

Top the fruit with the crumble mixture and bake until the top is browned and the fruit starts to bubble, approximately 45 minutes.  Serve warm.

This post was shared on whole food fridays.

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