Friday, April 6, 2012

Dairy Free Apple Crisp: Sweet times with my boy

As much as friends like to joke that I'm a tiger mom, I come up with numerous ways to defend myself saying that I'm not.  Case in point - I've never forced Son to read.  Daughter #2 started reading at age 3, but I never forced her to either.  She just loved words and letters and basically figured it out after watching a few of those Leapfrog videos.  (I'm not kidding!!  I did not force her nor did I push her!)

With that preceding him, I've still never pushed Son to read.  I watch carefully from the side, making sure that he's learning his letters, learning his sounds, but push him to read?  No.  I haven't.  I've been just allowing him to build his foundation, so that when the time comes and he's ready, he can do it.  Only, in watching him from the side, I noticed that he was actually hungry.  He has started to sound out words and has been looking at letters everywhere, and noticing a few words that he's figured out like, "go" and "stop" and "car."

And then it hit me.  He WANTS to read.  So I've been trying to help him a bit every single evening, as we sit up on his bed exploring his books.  But it's been the working with one series that has made him super excited and that is Brand New Readers.  (I wrote a blog post about them on my very very neglected books blog; you can check out the post here.)  Through these books, he has become a super motivated reader, trying to sound out words, still relying on tons of support from me to get through the words, but he's loving it.  And because the end goal is NOT for him to read right now (sometime before Kindergarten would be nice), it's just sweet times with him and me, enjoying the funny pictures and trying to sound out words together.  As he curls up against me, enjoying the books, excited about figuring out a few words here and there, he's absolutely gleeful. And I'm absolutely loving this sweet sweet time with my boy, before he kicks me out of bed so that he can read on his own.  (Admittedly, a part of me is actually looking FORWARD to that day as well.)

Sweet times call for sweet desserts.  Unfortunately for Son, most desserts are a no go for him.  And even when I tried to make him dairy free ice cream, he asked me to heat it up in the microwave because he said it was "too cold."  Son has an aversion to cold foods it seems, so I decided to go a different route and make a warm dessert.  Apple crisp popped into my mind, and I thought it would be pretty easy to create one that was dairy free with the use of coconut oil.

This crisp was such a hit with everyone I've served it to.  Son and Daughters both clamor for more and Son will sit down and enjoy this dessert like it's his last meal.  I'm not so fond of giving Children tons of sugar as a way to make them eat, but somehow, watching Son enjoy this particular dessert really made me smile.  He just loved it.  He loved eating something that everyone was eating together. These sweet times, are really just that, sweet.

As a note, even though coconut oil is used, while baking you'll smell it, while eating, you won't. :)

Dairy Free Apple Maple Crisp
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly melted (softened in the microwave to faciliate blending)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


6 to 8 medium Granny Smith Apples
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method
Preheat oven to 375.

Make crust by mixing together oats, brown sugar, and flour.  Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon and blend together with a fork until the mixture slightly clumps together.  Set aside.


Peel apples, and in order to prevent browning, place them in a bowl of water that has a healthy squeeze of lemon juice.  After all apples are peeled, slice them into 1/2 inch slices.

Toss apples with brown sugar, maple syrup, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon.   Make sure all apples are coated and ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a 8X8 baking pan or medium casserole dish, place apple mixture on bottom.  Press down so as to get the apples as compact in the dish as possible.  Carefully press crust mixture on top of apples, covering the entire surface.

Bake in 375 oven for about 35 to 45 minutes, until crust is brown and crispy and apple filling is bubbly.

Serve warm straight from the dish.

Printable recipe


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