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Crisp and Delicious

One of my favorite memories from the childhood of my son (who’s now 24) was wandering the apple orchards of LaFayette with our apple pickers in hand. We’d reach as high as we could to pick the most perfect fruit. My son “made” us go to the orchards every week during harvest time. We would wander, pick and plan. Each time we came home, we’d make something different with our prize.

While my son loves fritters (who am I kidding, so do I) they are messy to make at home, not to mention, deep fried. Fritters are a fantastic treat every once in a while but they certainly weren’t a regular thing. Neither was pie. Please don’t hate me: I am as American as everyone else, but pie crust is filled with fat. So it’s a special dessert in our house.

One of the problems we often have after a fun-filled day at the orchard is arriving home exhausted yet wanting to make something yummy with our apples. In the dead of winter, I love turning on the oven. But when the harvest starts, the days can be unpredictable. One day, it’s warm; the next, crisp and cool. So, we have perfected the microwave apple crisp recipe. It’s quick and easy to make.

While the little ones peel the apples, I get the rest of the ingredients together. Quick-cooking oats are always in my pantry. Not only are they good for the whole family (think fiber and lower cholesterol) but they are a go-to snack for me when I’m trying to watch my weight and want something warm and filling in my tummy. With cinnamon sprinkled on top, a bowl of oatmeal screams comfort food to me. All with just 3 grams of fat (per half-cup), 5 grams of protein, and 15 percent of our recommended daily values for fiber. Oatmeal is a workhorse!

While the kids are peeling, I melt butter in the microwave in a glass dish. Then I pour the butter into a bowl, stir in oats, whole wheat and all-purpose flours (you can use all of one or the other if you prefer), brown sugar and cinnamon.

Did you know cinnamon may also be a super spice? Kind of like a super food, cinnamon packs a nutritional wallop. Not only does it reduce inflammation (it helps with keeping arthritis at bay), and fight bacteria, but it may help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar. It’s one of the reasons I stir cinnamon into my tea, sprinkle it on my cereal, and even take a cinnamon capsule each day.

OK, I digress, so let’s finish the recipe. We put our apples into the same baking dish we’d melted the butter in and spread them evenly across the bottom. We sprinkle our oat “crumble” mix on top. And the whole thing slips into the microwave oven for 10 or 15 minutes, depending on the power of your oven. You’ll know it’s done when you check the apples with a fork to see if they are tender. Enjoy!

Click to view recipe.

Chris Xaver, Ph.D., is a local TV and radio personality with three children and five grandchildren. Her healthy lifestyle show, The Sweet Life, is airing on public television stations nationwide.

Photo above: Chelsea E. Gordon Photo

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