With a baby due in less than a week, I may be slightly out of my mind, but I’ve decided to take the October Unprocessed pledge. I have been back and forth on it for quite a while, knowing that it’s not realistic to expect to be able to eat 100% unprocessed for the whole month of October. In fact, I don’t even know if it will be possible to eat 50% unprocessed!
Normally I am one of those people who will only do something if I am sure that I can do it 110%. So, this is slightly out of character for me… But, I am going to give it a try, knowing full well that I will have to make some exceptions and keep a realistic perspective for the month. Hospital food? Most definitely processed (and, I will reserve my rant on how sad that is for another time). And, that Italian sub that I have been craving for months? I still plan to enjoy it when I am permitted to eat lunchmeat again. I also probably won’t be cooking all of our meals… And, we may have to order pizza on an occasion or two.
So, you’re probably wondering why I am even bothering with the pledge… For me, it’s all about making improvements where I can. I think that’s the beauty of October Unprocessed… You can set your own rules and do what works for you. If you can make one unprocessed meal a week, that’s fantastic! My guess is that by being mindful of the processed foods that you eat, your diet will gradually become more and more unprocessed.
I already do a lot of cooking at home completely from scratch… There’s certainly room for improvement, but with our CSAs and the local farmer’s market, we do eat pretty well. Instead, I think baking is going to be my biggest challenge. I really enjoy baking, and I use plenty of all purpose flour and white sugar. So, my goal for the month of October is to rework some of my favorite fall baked goods to come up with unprocessed versions.
So, will My Kitchen Addiction be going 100% unprocessed in October? Sadly, no. I plan to share as many unprocessed recipes as I can this month, but I already have a handful of recipes ready to share with you in the coming weeks. Much like the meals we will be eating at my house, I am trying to keep realistic expectations here, too. Whether you are participating in October Unprocessed or not, I’m hoping that you’ll stick around and keep reading. Hopefully there will be something for everyone!
To kick things off, though, I decided to make a simple, unprocessed version of one of my favorite fall desserts… Apple Crumble. Many apple crisps and apple crumbles are loaded with a lot of refined sugar and can be quite sweet. I honestly don’t think they really need all of that sugar, though. Apples are pretty delicious on their own, especially this time of year! So, my version lets the apples shine on their own. I’ve sweetened the crumble slightly with some maple syrup. Instead of reaching for the all purpose flour, I opted to make my crumble topping with some rolled oats and walnuts. This is an apple crumble I feel good about… It’s great for dessert, but I don’t feel too bad eating a bowl for breakfast, either!
Apple Crumble (#Unprocessed)
Makes 8 servings
For the apples:
- 8 cups cored and sliced apples
(I also peeled the apples because they were not organic, but you can do as you like)
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the topping:
- 1 cup rolled oats
(not quick cooking oats!)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a large baking dish (just a drop or two of olive oil will do).
Place the sliced apples in the baking dish and squeeze the juice from the 1/2 lemon over the apples. Add the maple syrup and spices, and toss to evenly coat all of the apples.
To prepare the topping, combine the rolled oats, walnuts, olive oil, and maple syrup in your food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is evenly moistened and the walnuts are roughly chopped. Spread the topping on top of the apples in the baking dish.
Bake the crumble for about 60 minutes, until the apples are soft (but not mushy) and the topping is crunchy and golden. Serve warm.