Fall and winter scream for baked desserts. Having some of my favorites like pumpkin pie, apple dumplings, cinnamon rolls, and so much more, are always on the list once the weather gets cooler, but you don’t always have to have a dessert that is all that bad for you. I was shocked, and so was the rest of my family, about how delicious and rich this was. After a serving of this we were all satisfied and full. Let’s first talk about the main ingredients in most desserts – sugar, flour, and fat – and see how this dessert, although still being calorie dense, is changed for the healthier.
Sugar is sugar, is sugar is sugar. Juice, maple syrup, honey, agave, turbinado sugar, date sugar, refined sugar – it’s sugar. However, using unrefined sources for a sweetener like maple syrup, honey, and orange juice still adds sugar but is not from highly processed sources.
With that in mind, in this dessert some of the sugar is from the broken down apples and pears. They are full of natural sugar and by keeping the peels on, you also keep the fiber in the dessert. When cooking there will be a loss of nutrients, but fiber pretty much stays the same which is good when we are talking about a dessert with sugar. Fiber allows the sugar to be absorbed at a slower rate so having something sweet with fiber (like fruit naturally has) does help your body absorb sugar at a slower pace and has more time to use it for energy instead of immediately being dosed with it and storing right away because of the overload. Not to mention the blood sugar spike.
This recipe doesn’t use any flour. I only uses oats to create a crunchy topping. So if you are gluten free, make sure to use gluten-free oats. Using oats you can keep it whole food and nothing has been processed and stripped of anything. Plus to fact that we still keep that fiber in there as well.
As you may know there are the “good” fats and the “bad” fats. An easy rule of thumb to tell the difference is if the fat/oil is solid at room temperature.
- For instance butter and shortening is soft, but is still solid at room temperature. This means it is saturated fat or “bad” fat. This is fat that is easily stored and is known to increase LDL cholesterol.
- Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature like olive oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. These oils are known as the “good” fats. They are easily used in the body and can have some nutritional value because of Omega fatty acids. For instance, olive oil, has been known to decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing unsaturated fats.
In this recipe I use either canola or vegetable oil in the oat mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn and also creates a crunchy top. You’ll find that all in all, for a baked dessert, there is not a lot of oil added.
Apple Pear Cranberry Cobbler
- Unprocessed source of sugar & is partly from the broken down cooked fruit
- Oats only, no flour to keep it whole food
- Unsaturated “good” fat, no “bad” fats
This is still a dessert and calorie dense, but it’s so worth it! Plus the added facts of it being a whole food dessert, easy, low-sodium, and the fat is good unsaturated fats. Enjoy!
Apple, Pear, & Cranberry Cobbler
- 3 apples, chopped, I use honey crisp apples
- 2 pears, chopped
- 12 oz. bag cranberries
- 4 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 cup Grade A maple syrup
- 4 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon OAT CRISP
- 2 1/2 cups old fashion oats *See note
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Chop your apples and pears and add to a 9×13 baking pan. No need to prepare the pan with oil or butter before adding anything, leave it dry. Whisk together the corn starch or arrowroot with the water in a small bowl until starch is dissolved. Add to the starch mixture the maple syrup, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together. Pour over fruit and gently mix to coat with the wet mixture.
- In a medium bowl add oats, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir together. Once mixed together, pour lightly over top of the fruit and spread around to cover the top.
- Bake on 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until oats start to brown and the fruit is bubbling on the sides. Your house will smell wonderful!
- Let cool for about 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven and serve!
405 calories | 11.8 g fat | 3.4 g polyunsaturated fat | 6.5 g monounsaturated fat | 1.3 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 8 mg sodium | 72 g carbohydrates | 7.2 g fiber | 40 g sugar | 6 g protein | 12% Vitamin C | 15% Vitamin E | 7% Calcium | 24% Magnesium | 11% Iron | 24% Zinc