WowButter Lowers the Glycemic Index &

Adds a Complete Protein (All 9 Essential Amino Acids)

Apple crisp...pre-bake
Credit: Bill Holsinger-Robinson (billhr on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

I just love the smell of apple crisp baking. I can throw it together in a snap without having to be fussy about the presentation.

Traditional apple crisp, made with white flour and brown sugar, has a high glycemic index.

High glycemic foods with fruit, refined flour, and sugar are metabolized quickly - which causes you to feel hungry again sooner.[1]

For diabetics, combining high glycemic foods with a protein source (which also adds some fat) helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.[2] Plus you feel full longer.

My daughter loves apples. So, I thought I'd make something apple-y for her with protein and perhaps avoid flour altogether. Apple crisp made with gluten-free oats certainly fit the bill.

But, I needed a protein source. As a kid, I used to eat apple slices with peanut butter. And WowButter is the gluten-free, peanut-free answer to peanut butter. In fact, it's healthier than peanut butter[3] and an easy 1:1 substitute for it in any recipe.

My Gluten-Free Apple Crisp With WowButter Ingredients
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

My Inspiration and Tweaks

A few weeks ago, I tweaked a Kraft recipe for cream cheese icing and I noticed a recipe for peanut butter granola-topped fruit crisp.[4] It sounded like apple crisp with peanut butter to me.

And I loved the addition of maple syrup (being Canadian, I always have some on hand).

If you don't have maple syrup, just add 3 tbsp. more brown sugar. The ratio is about 3:4 when substituting maple syrup for brown sugar[5] (but it also depends on the water content of your recipe).[6]

I cut back on the brown sugar since WowButter is sweeter than peanut butter. I added an extra apple, some butter, and extra cinnamon.

Some apple crisp recipes call for nutmeg, ground ginger, and allspice too. The choice is yours, but I would only add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of those. Otherwise, they tend to overpower the cinnamon.

Another yummy variation is apple-pear crisp: use 2 pears with 3 apples. Or cranberry-apple crisp: use 3/4 cup cranberries with 3 - 4 granny smith apples. Keep in mind, with a medium 2-quart Pyrex baking dish, about 4 to 4.5 cups (in total) of sliced fruit is ideal.

If you aren't on a gluten-free, peanut-free diet, just use regular quick cooking oats and peanut butter in the same amounts. You may want to add 2 tbsp. more brown sugar/maple syrup, since WowButter is slightly sweeter than 100% natural peanut butter.

Apple crisp in progress
Credit: Alex "Skud" Bayley on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp With WowButter

Serves: 8 - 10 | Prep: 20 mins | Total: 1 hour

Birthday Apple CrispCredit: Arnold Gatilao (arndog on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericI used Royal Gala apples but Granny Smith, Empire, Fuji or Honey Crisp are popular varieties for apple crisp too.  

1/3 cup WowButter (Crunchy or Creamy)
2.5 tbsp. maple syrup (A or B grade)
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 and 1/4 cup G-F quick cooking oats (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
5 small-medium crisp and tart ripe apples
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice
Garnish: Ice cream or whipped cream
Wash, peel (if desired), core and cut apples into equally thick slices. I aim for 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick slices. The thicker the slice, the firmer and less watery your apple crisp will be.
Ensure oven racks are set so your apple crisp will bake in the center and preheat oven to 350 F (176 C). Grease or line a 2-quart Pyrex baking dish with parchment paper (I always use parchment paper). Spread apple slices evenly over bottom of prepared pan and set aside.
In a medium-large bowl, combine WowButter with butter and maple syrup. Mix together until smooth. Add oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir until everything is just incorporated. In fact, coarse crumbs with small pea-sized pieces are ideal. Sprinkle evenly over apple slices.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes and then cover with a tented piece of foil and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. The apples should be tender when poked with a fork, the filling should be bubbling, and the crumb topping should be golden brown.
Remove from oven, allow to cool (at least) 10 minutes before serving. Top with ice cream or whipped cream as desired.
Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container or cover baking dish with plastic wrap once completely cooled.
Apple crisp with oatmeal streusel
Credit: goblinbox_(queen_of_ad_hoc_bento) on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Apple Crisp With Rolled Oats or Quick Oats?

I noticed Martha Stewart's recipe called for old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)[7] and I started to wonder if it mattered. I think I've made apple crisp with both types over the years and never noticed.

Well, according to a Modern Mom article called Rolled Oats vs. Quick Oats for Apple Crisp Dessert[8] by Cassie Damewood, Demand Media:

"Either rolled oats, also called old-fashioned oats or quick or quick-cooking oats are appropriate for apple crisp. Baking times are not affected by the type of oats you use."

And she added, "Rolled oats produce a chewier topping than quick oats but the flavor is almost identical." She also mentioned, "Instant oats are precooked and tend to disintegrate when baked. Steel cut oats are unrolled (so they don't bake evenly) and impart a raw oat taste."

Whew, good to know.

Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes

Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes RoseWrites 2015-04-20 5.0 0 5

Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes

2 Piece Value-Plus Pack Set

Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes, 2 Piece Value Plus Pack Set
Amazon Price: $17.50 $16.83 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 16, 2016)
Whenever I bake with acidic foods or strong spices (e.g. fruit, tomato sauce, garlic), I use Pyrex baking dishes. Not only is it more hygienic, I think the food tastes better. I find foil or aluminum pans give off a metallic taste.

These pans are ideal for apple crisp since you can see when the filling starts to bubble (without having to scoop any of it out). In fact, Pyrex has been making these pans since 1915.

Uh-Oh! Keep an Eye on Your Apple Crisp

"Bitsy" Offers Her Help With the Whipped Cream

Bitsy offers her help with the whipped cream
Credit: jeffreyw on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic