Apple Crisp (Reduced Carb Version)
I recently went apple-picking on a beautiful fall day (on a visit with my daughter and her family, in upstate New York) and later the same day we made apple crisp for a neighborhood pot-luck supper. For the apple crisp recipe I turned – as thousands do every day – to Elise Bauer's simplyrecipes.com, one of the most reliable and comprehensive recipe sources on the web.
The apple crisp was perfect, and I recommend Elise's recipe wholeheartedly, but when I later did a nutritional estimate I found that a half-cup serving had 226 calories, 9 grams of fat and a whopping 38 grams of carbohydrates. For anyone looking to control blood glucose levels this dish, even in limited portions, is potentially too high in carbohydrates. (It scored 5 Weight Watchers points, by the way.)
I set out to reduce the calories and carbs in a new version of apple crisp, hoping of course not to lose any of the pleasures of a good apple crisp. I replaced most of the sugar with granulated no-calorie sweetener and most of the oatmeal with chopped almonds, and reduced the butter by half
The main joy in apple crisp is in the apples and in the crunch. In this version the apples are unchanged and the seductive crunchiness – normally provided by the combination of sugar, oats and butter, bound together by caramelized sugar – is provided by the chopped almonds, combined with the reduced amounts of butter, sugar and oats.
The verdict: a total success, with all the crunchy, apple-ey goodness of the original but less than two-thirds the carbohydrates, with a similar reduction in calories. Since the main ingredient (apple) is fairly high in carbohydrates to begin with (a medium apple contains about 24 grams) this dish doesn't exactly qualify as low carbohydrate, but it does fit much better into a restricted-carbohydrate regimen than the original recipe.
10 servings, 1/2 cup each.
I use Macoun apples when available (usually only in the fall and then only direct from the growers) but almost any apple except Red Delicious works well for this recipe.Ingredients
- 2 to 2 1/2 lb apples (about 7 or 8 medium-size apples)
- 1/2 lemon plus 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated no-calorie sweetener, such as Splenda
- 1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick)
1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
2. Squeeze the juice from the half lemon into a large bowl of cool water. Peel, core and slice the apples, dropping the slices into the water immediately after cutting. (This keeps them from turning brown while you work.) You should have about 8 cups of apple slices.
3. Chop the almonds. Combine them with the cinnamon, brown sugar, rolled oats, flour and no-calorie sweetener in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter.
4. Drain the apple slices and toss them with the 4 teaspoons lemon juice and the vanilla. Layer them in a 9 x 12-inch baking pan or equivalent.
5. Spread the almond/oats mixture evenly over the apples.
6. Bake 40 minutes, or until the topping is crunchy and the apples are tender.
Adapted from a recipe by Elise Bauer, available at simplyrecipes.com.